Berry category growth sticks to double-digit rate - The Packer

Berry category growth sticks to double-digit rate

05/09/2014 11:28:00 AM
Melissa Shipman

In addition, Crawford said the growth of the blueberry category does affect the strawberry sales.

“I think as the demand for blueberries increases, it takes more from the strawberries,” he said.

Strawberries are still the leader in terms of volume, he said, although he’s not sure if they are still the leader in revenue.

“I think blueberries are on target to surpass strawberries,” he said.

Blackberries lag

Blackberries aren’t as popular as blueberries, but Gregory Atkinson, West Coast manager and domestic grower relations for Giumarra International Berry, Los Angeles, said that could simply be because they haven’t had the publicity.

“There is definitely a demand for them,” he said. “There’s not as much information on the health benefits and antioxidants of blackberries, but they are supposedly just as good for you, if not better, than blueberries,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson said blackberries are growing in their share of the market.

“They aren’t as highly demanded, but they are gaining ground on them,” he said.

In some cases, bush berries are already encroaching slightly on the strawberry display space, inching up from 50% to 60% of the display. Blueberries, especially, are more in demand.

“Before, the bush berries, especially blueberries, were always kind of regional while being strong in the northeast. Now they are all over, evenly spread across the U.S.,” Jewell said.

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