New Jersey blueberries add to tight supply

Blueberry supplies in the United States are tight right now, though there are more berries on track with the imminent start of the season in New Jersey.

“Right now the blueberries are coming from Georgia and North Carolina. New Jersey is going to start probably around the 10th. They're going to start harvesting thinner and next week there will be more volume,” says Tony Biondo of Trucco Inc. in Vineland, NJ. This marks a slightly earlier start to the season compared to last year, when the state started its blueberries on June 15.

Biondo says the New Jersey crop appears to have both good quality and volume. "It's going to be a great season for New Jersey and we'll probably go into August," he adds. August is also when Trucco, which packs blueberries in 450g, 510g and 900g packs, sources blueberries from Michigan and British Columbia.

North Carolina
New Jersey's start comes on the heels of problems with the North Carolina blueberry crop this year. "They don't have a very large harvest. They had a week with large volumes and then they dropped a lot," continues Biondo. "So our suppliers, instead of having two loads of blueberries a day, for example, they only had 10 pallets a day, which is not a lot." Mexico also offers blueberries, but not in considerable volume.

Not surprisingly, demand is strong and outstrips available supply. “I think it will continue to be strong in the market throughout the season. As supply from North Carolina has almost dried up, New Jersey is going to be able to get a premium for its blueberries," Biondo concludes. “Normally there is a lot of volume between all the states. Once it starts, there will only be New Jersey, so the market will stay up unless there is a quality issue later in the season. But right now the quality seems great.”

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