Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Luciano Fiszman with Gourmet Trading Company

“High demand for blueberries is driven by strong supply and great quality”

After a smooth transition from South America, the blueberry focus has switched to North America. "There were no gaps between growing regions and our strategic partners in Mexico and Florida have allowed us to transition without operational or commercial difficulties," says Luciano Fiszman with Gourmet Trading Company. "We've been able to maintain and continue the momentum with our customer base and gained additional traction due to our strength in the shoulders of the season."

As of right now, a limited amount of organic and conventional fruit is still brought in from Mexico, but the vast majority of blueberries available in the U.S. market are sourced domestically. "In the East, we finished the Florida season and are now at full steam in Georgia," Fiszman commented. "As we are experiencing peak weeks in Georgia currently, we also started harvest in North Carolina this week." In the West, harvest at Gourmet Trading's California farm started 10 days ago and volume will ramp up by the end of next week. The company's California blueberry farm is located in the Delano, in the San Joaquin Valley. This region is known for hot summer weather and depending on June temperatures, blueberry harvest will likely continue for another five weeks. Volumes are expected to peak in the second half of May.

Successful pollination
Michelle Carpenter, production manager at Gourmet's farm in Delano, is very excited about the quality of the fruit this season. "The fruit size is huge, very firm, and super tasty," she said." This doesn't only apply to California, but also to Georgia. Both West and East productions show high quality this season. This may be the result of a mild winter that was experienced in all growing regions. "There were just enough chill hours, but no late freezes that jeopardized production," commented Carpenter. "While there were showers, the pollination was very successful, and the labor of pollinators paid off with a nice fruit set and big-sized berries." The weather conditions throughout bloom and post-bloom were optimal.

Attractive pricing
With quality being high, demand is also strong. "Having a good product certainly helps to increase demand," said Adriana Fortune, sales manager at Gourmet Trading. While some in the industry were nervous about the production volume estimates for some regions, demand has been strong and has helped to keep a fine balance with production. Strong demand in combination with strong supply from all growing regions results in attractive pricing. "Consumers buying blueberries are experiencing a good deal, making them come back for repeat purchases." This virtuous dynamic keeps coolers in good shape as there are no inventories despite the big volumes available. On the flipside, however, pricing is not exactly where growers would like it to be. It is about average for this time of the season and reasonable enough to move the peak weeks. Fortune expects pricing to recover a bit in a few weeks once regions like Georgia start to slow down production. "We were coming from high pricing, which could have been an issue as it caused movement to be slow. However, the price was adjusted on time and coupled with excellent quality, great demand for fresh blueberries has been maintained." One of the challenges caused by a high production volume is the capacity at the packing houses. "There just aren't enough packing houses to absorb the volume available at farm level and process the fruit to get it to market."

"In summary, superb quality is the way to sustain a market and that's what we are seeing this year," Fortune shared. Despite the high volume, quality keeps consumers happy with their purchases and has them come back for repeat purchases.

For more information:
Gourmet Trading Co.

Luciano Fiszman
[email protected]

Adriana Fortune
[email protected]