Blueberry volumes increase steadily
Florida started a few weeks earlier than last year. The volume from Mexico has increased from last year,” says Helena Beckett of Giddings Berries USA located in Monterey, California. She points out that most of the blueberry supplies right now are coming from Mexico and Florida. “Quality has improved since the beginning of the year and we have seen excellent quality at the store level.”
He notes that Mexico generally supplies blueberries until June, depending on how the quality is maintained and what other volumes other producing regions have.
At the same time, Florida, which has been in production for several weeks, will probably end in the next few weeks, and Georgia is also starting production.
The demand is also constantly growing
In the meantime, the demand of course continues to grow as does the overall consumption of blueberries. Beckett says that even with California's strong strawberry crop, the items rank above each other from a consumer demand perspective. “It depends on what the ad space is and if there's a big ad for strawberries, you might spend all your money there,” he says.
One trend that came about thanks to the pandemic and may or may not continue is the availability of larger container sizes, such as 18 oz. and even 2-pound packages. “Part of that was the pandemic lifestyle and part of that was year after year we have more blueberries available overall. So more often than not, we are seeing larger pack promotions than in the past,” he says, noting that they are usually promoted in the summer when higher volumes of blueberries are available.
When it comes to pricing, Beckett says there are several tiers. “For domestic blueberries, Florida and Georgia will probably get a premium over imported fruit,” he says. “It's down since the start of the domestic season, and we'll probably see more advertising prices in May once California production starts. Towards the end of May and June the price goes down as the volume goes up. It's usually the price of ads during the summer."
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