Commodity: Blackberries

Blackberries

Commodity Overview

Blackberries have become more and more popular over the past few years. Climbing sales and falling prices mean these berries are good for your bottom line. Although prices have fallen in the past few years, they are still a premium-priced berry, which means they draw a more affluent consumer into your store. Leverage that to create more sales of both berries and other items.

Varieties

This commodity is not typically marketed by variety.

Facts

  • Blackberries are disease fighters. They contain ellagic acid, which can fight both viruses and bacteria. They also contain high levels of antioxidants, which make them great at fighting cancer. The tannin found in blackberries helps to reduce inflammation in the intestines.
  • Blackberries fight wrinkles by promoting the tightening of skin.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for blackberries: low-fat, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, high in fiber, high in vitamin C and a good source of folate.

Sales Strategies

  • Blackberries make a great snack, but they are often used in baked goods and fruit salads. Cross-promote them with bananas, peaches and other fruit salad items, pie crusts, cobbler ingredients and applesauce or apples.
  • Promote blackberries throughout the year when you have them in stock, but pay special attention to them during peak season.
  • Fall: Include blackberries in back-to-school displays, promoting them as a kid-favorite in the lunch bag.
  • Winter: Blackberries are out of season in winter, but you may have some supplies. Promote them as a tasty addition to holiday fruit salads.
  • Spring: Include blackberries in a berry patch display and promotion along with strawberries and blueberries. As strawberry prices come down in the spring, consumers will be looking for other berries as well.
  • Summer: Summer is when blackberries hit their stride. Promote them heavily around the summertime holidays when a blackberry cobbler is a sought-after summertime treat. Promote blackberries as a fun topping for a summer ice cream sundae.
  • Include blackberries in any health-related promotions as they provide plenty of nutrients and health-related benefits.
  • Be ready when supplies increase and put blackberries on ad. You’ll attract consumers who won’t normally buy the berries because of their higher price.

Dynamic Displays

  • The blackberry display is one that needs to be checked frequently. Nothing turns consumers off like a clamshell full of moldy berries. Keep an eye on your product and remove questionable product immediately.
  • Clamshells protect the blackberries from damage and your customers from injury from falling on loose berries on the floor. Stock several sizes of clamshells to meet all your consumers’ needs.
  • Blackberries are available most of the year, but peak season with promotable supplies is short. Give blackberries extra space on your display and consider a secondary display near the bagged salads during peak season.

Food Service

  • Blackberries are a great addition to breakfast. Include them on yogurt bars and offer them as a filling in fresh fruit crepes.
  • Include blackberries on salad bars, in salads and as part of a fruit side dish.
  • Blackberry cobbler makes a great seasonal offering that plays on consumers’ childhood memories of summer.
  • Liven up your children’s offerings by creating a blackberry applesauce by adding blackberry puree to applesauce.

In The Backroom

Shipping

Master shipping containers, 12 6-oz. clamshells RPC 6409, 6411 Consumer packs Usual retail containers are the 6-oz. clamshell or half-pint. Oregon, Texas, California and Washington provide the bulk of supplies with limited acreage on a line from Maine to Michigan.

Grades

U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2

Handling

Berries with caps attached may be immature. Good-quality product will be bright, clean and fresh with good color and plumpness. Overripe berries are dull, soft and sometimes leaky – indicated by stained containers. Temperature: 32 to 34 F, 0 to 1 C Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 2 to 3 days Highly sensitive to freezing injury

Availability

Fresh Trends

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blackberries_fresh-trends (629.11 KB)

Nutrition Labels

Equivalents

1⁄2 pint = about 1 cup 1⁄2 pint = about 8 oz. 1⁄2 pint = 16.8 cubic inches

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