Fruits From Chile’s Karen Brux Discusses Blueberry Season
- by Maggie Mead
CHILE - Blend ‘em up in a smoothie, sprinkle ‘em on breakfast yogurt, eat ‘em plain, or just chuck ‘em at your siblings (was I the only one who did that as a kid?)—blueberries have endless applications. Consumers love them for their versatility, health benefits, and taste, and that is clearer than ever due to the recent exceptional Chilean blueberry season. Both conventional and organic blueberries have seen an outstanding response in North America and across the globe. Fruits From Chile is currently in the heart of its main promotional period, and with Chilean blueberries available through March, consumers will be berry satisfied.
“The Chilean Blueberry Committee has increased its forecast for blueberry exports this season, and it expects total fresh exports to reach 110,000 tons, roughly the same as last season,” explained Karen Brux, Managing Director North America. “This is great news, especially since the Committee was originally anticipating a decrease in volume following last November’s hailstorms.”
Here are some facts and figures about this year's Chilean blueberry season:
- Chile exported 3,945 tons of blueberries in Week 6, global exports reached 98,427 tons for this season (up 3% from last season)
- Organic blueberries are at their peak with 11,785 tons exported globally (season to date), up 41% over last season
- 9,084 tons of fresh organic blueberries from Chile were shipped to the U.S. through Week 6 (77% of total organic volume)
- Organic blueberry imports are up 30% from last season
- Organic volume expected to be around 12-13% of the total fresh blueberry volume shipped to the U.S. (17% if looking at volume shipped through Week 6)
- Total volume shipped to the U.S. through Week 6 (including conventional and organic) is 52,955 tons
2018 saw enormous growth in the organic fresh produce category, with sales hitting $5.6 billion, Karen said. Organic blueberries made serious headway, with the category growing by $63.9 million. Still, Fruits From Chile has plans in mind when it comes to conventional and organic blueberry promotion.
“We have a long history of working with retailers across the country to promote Chilean blueberries, and we’re now extending that support to organic-specific promotions,” said Karen. “We’re committed to expanding the category, so it’s key that we work with retailers to drive sales of both conventional and organic blueberries.”
For more produce updates, keep reading AndNowUKnow.