Blueberries aren’t quite ready to overtake the ever-popular strawberry as king of the berry category, but they are a favorite with a large chunk of consumers. Blueberry sales rose nearly 11%, accounting for nearly $2 billion in annual sales. Market them well as they are an important piece of the overall produce mix.
- Blueberries are considered a “superfood” because they have such a high concentration of nutrients. Blueberries contain antioxidants, making them a powerful weapon in the fight to prevent cancer. The nutrients in blueberries can improve urinary tract health. Blueberries are also immune-system boosters and can help prevent infection.
- Eating blueberries has been shown to slow age-related memory loss in rats.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for blueberries: low-fat, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, a good source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C.
- Capitalize on blueberries’ popularity by cross-merchandising them with other items including pie shells, shortcake, glazes, muffin mixes, cereal, pancake mix and yogurt.
- Blueberries are available year-round, but the best time to promote them is in the spring and summer when supplies are plentiful and prices are lower. Try some of these seasonal promotions.
- Fall: Include blueberries in back-to-school promotions. Encourage consumers to freeze berries and drop them in the lunch box. By the time lunch rolls around, the berries will be ready to eat.
- Winter: Blueberries are a great addition to holiday fruit salads and desserts. Keep consumers thinking about the berries even when the snow is on the ground by promoting them to health-conscious consumers after the first of the year. Blueberries offer a host of health benefits. Make sure your consumers know about them.
- Spring: As strawberries come into season, make sure you have blueberries nearby. While strawberry prices come down first, consumers may pick up a variety of berries for a berry salad. Include blueberries in Easter and Mother’s Day promotions.
- Summer: Make blueberries the blue in red, white and blue promotions for Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Encourage consumers to think of blueberries as quick, portable snack for those summertime outings. Cross-merchandise with ice cream as a topping for a summertime treat. Take advantage of National Blueberry Month in July to promote them.
- Promote blueberries as an easy-to-freeze fruit, which makes them perfect to buy now and eat later.
- The days of bulk blueberry displays are a thing of the past. Display blueberries in clamshells of varying sizes to keep your displays looking neat.
- Don’t stack clamshells as blueberries are fragile and the bottom layer of berries will get squished.
- Offer blueberries year-round, but beef up your promotions during the spring and summer when prices fall.
- Blueberries are a favorite as a snack and as a breakfast food, but include preparation tips and recipes on your display to get consumers thinking about adding blueberries to other meals.
- Brighten your display by adding a hollowed out cantaloupe filled with blueberries as a centerpiece.
- Include blueberries in your breakfast offerings from muffins to pancakes and waffles. Add them to pancake and waffle batter after you pour it on the griddle to avoid smashing the blueberries.
- Add blueberries to breakfast fruit and yogurt bars.
- Blueberries make a fabulous addition to desserts from pastries to pies.
- Drop a few berries in a glass of champagne to create a colorful, elegant garnish.
- Include blueberries in salads and on salad bars.
In The Backroom
12 1⁄2-dry pint cups 12 12-oz. cups 12 8-oz. cups 12 6-oz. cups 12 1-dry pint cups 12 125-gram cups 12 100-gram cups 8 1-quart cups 8 22-oz. cups 6 1-quart cups 6 1-dry pint cups 4 2.5-lb. clamshells Various bulk master packs of 2½, 5, 10 and 20 lbs. are available. RPC 6409, 6411
United States U.S. No. 1 The grade applies to selected and hybrid varieties of the high-bush blueberry. Size is the general basis for sale. Larger berries bring a higher price. The number required to fill a half-pint measure determines size.
Color and brightness of fruit will vary depending on varieties. Look for berries that are blue to dark blue in color. Most varieties of fresh blueberries have silver-white frost, which is referred to as “bloom.” Lack of bloom on some varieties may be an indication of excessive handling and lack of freshness. Size doesn’t denote quality or maturity level. If blueberries are exposed to higher than recommended temperatures, shelf life will be reduced significantly and skin will become rough-textured. Temperature: 32 to 34 F, 0 to 1 C Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 10 to 18 days Highly sensitive to freezing injuries
- 34% of consumers say they purchased blueberries in the past year.
- Consumers with children at home are slightly more likely to purchase blueberries than those with no children.
ft2020_blueberries (1.09 MB)