Consumption and sales keep pace with supply
FOLSOM, Calif. (June 16, 2016) – The blueberry industry is projecting a 25 percent increase in North American production over a four-year span, growing from 750.2 million lb. in 2015 to 940 million lb. in 2019¹. North American production for 2016 is projected to again surpass 750 million lb., with global production anticipated to surpass 1.4 billion lb.
Soaring demand has created a nearly billion dollar industry in the U.S. Top-producing regions include California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington.
As the industry, led by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC), promotes blueberries as healthy lifestyle staples, North American consumption and purchases continue to keep pace with supply. Specifically:
- North American per capita blueberry consumption grew nearly 50 percent between 2010-2015²
- Fresh blueberry sales at U.S. retail amounted to $1.5 billion in 2015, up 7 percent versus 2014, making blueberries #2 in fresh berry dollar sales³
- Frozen blueberry sales reached $189.6 million in 2015, up 4 percent versus 2014, making blueberries #2 in frozen fruit dollar sales³
- In 2013, Americans were nearly twice as likely as they were in 2004 to buy blueberries in the coming year and 84 percent cited awareness of blueberry health benefits, up 115 percent over 20044
Growing Export Markets
North America isn’t the only market of focus for the blueberry industry. Approximately 10 percent of the total U.S. highbush crop is exported each year, with fresh exports totaling more than 79 million lb. in 2014, up 60 percent from 49.3 million lb. in 20055.
The USHBC aims to increase industry export figures substantially in the coming years by expanding existing export markets and opening new markets where fresh blueberries from the U.S. aren’t currently available, including Australia, Chile, China, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Vietnam.
1Cort Brazelton – North American Blueberry Council 2014
2North American Blueberry Council 2014
3IRI: Freshlook, Total U.S Multi-Outlet, DE 12/27/2015 http://ridethebluewave.com/market-research/
4Hebert Research U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council 2013 Consumer Usage & Attitude Study: http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/blueberry-marketers/
5NABC Statistical Record 2014