Karen Brux Talks Blueberries from Chile
CHILE - Karen Brux stands in a blueberry orchard in the south of Chile holding a cluster of plump blueberries in one hand. She flashes a bright smile. Behind her, rows of blueberry bushes stand firm in the still, warm air.
"My name is Karen Brux and I work with the Chilean Blueberry Committee," she begins. "Today I am standing in this beautiful blueberry orchard in Valdivia in the south of Chile."
She smiles and raises her hand, palm up, in an extended gesture of delight.
"And guess what? It's time for blueberries," Karen exclaims.
She plucks some berries off the bush and pops them into her mouth. Raising her hand in excitement, she declares, "Three at a time!"
"Mm," she finishes, "crunchy, juicy, full of flavor and antioxidants: blueberries from Chile."
"This season, the Chilean Blueberry Committee has estimated total global exports of Chilean Blueberries at 101,700 tons. The North American market receives more than 60% of the total," Karen says. "The North American market is in the peak period of supply for Chilean Blueberries. The Chilean Blueberry Committee partners with U.S. Marketing Services, who monitors blueberry displays in 21 supermarkets in 9 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Chile currently commands dominant market share for blueberries. During Week 5, Chilean blueberries were available in 18 of the 21 retailers we monitor, with small volumes of Peruvian and Mexican blueberries seen in the marketplace."
Blueberries are in strong demand throughout the year, states Karen. After the domestic blueberry season wraps up, there's always great anticipation for the start of Southern Hemisphere supply. When Chilean blueberry volumes start to ramp up in December, retailers are ready to promote. Big promotions launched in late December and will continue through February.
"Roughly 75% of the blueberries exported from Chile during Week 5 were of the Brightwell, Legacy or Brigitta varieties," Karen continues. "The remaining 25% of volume was composed of 33 varieties, as the Chilean blueberry industry not only strengthens its focus on the best varieties, but also engages in new variety development to strengthen its offering to the global market.
As the waves of blueberries roll in from the Southern Hemisphere, bringing with them the taste and feel of summer, the Chilean Blueberry Committee will continue to work with retailers to develop social, in-store/POS campaigns and other programs to engage shoppers. To follow the blueberry through its seasonal peaks, keep reading AndNowUKnow.