Naturipe Farms Announces Blueberry Season Peak; Brian Bocock Comments
SALINAS, CA - Retailers can rejoice as Naturipe Farms has announced the beginning of its organic blueberry peak. With large volumes available now through June, buyers will have the supply they need to appease their blueberry-loving shoppers as we head into the summer months here in the Northern Hemisphere.
“Weather in California has been stellar, producing superb quality organic blueberries. Cool nights and warm days are bringing the crop along nicely,” said Brian Bocock, Vice President of Product Management. “What’s also exciting is that Naturipe’s Rocio variety continues to delight with fantastic firmness and flavor. Our growers have been working hard year-round to produce high volumes.”
This peak in organic volumes comes at the perfect time, as conventional production is anticipated to slow later in May, a press release stated. The majority of the organic blueberry supply will come from California and Georgia and will give retailers the opportunity to cash in on rising consumer demand for the category.
Looking ahead, Naturipe recommends that buyers size up during this peak to organic pints or 18 oz clamshells to take advantage of higher volumes, especially as shoppers continue to reach for larger pack sizes.
In addition to California and Georgia, Naturipe is also producing organic blueberries in the Pacific Northwest, but the season is slightly behind due to cooler weather. However, the grower anticipates things to ramp up in the middle to end of June, providing volume for the summer season in July and early August.
For conventional blueberry production, it will peak between weeks 29–32 this year in the Pacific Northwest and Michigan and is still seeing good production from New Jersey. Volumes in June are expected to be strong, but it will overall be lower than in previous seasons, with the Georgia and North Carolina late-season crops being impacted by a freeze. Production from North Carolina will peak from early to mid-June, optimal for post-Memorial Day promotions.
Looking at New Jersey, conventional production has had a delayed start due to a cooler spring. It is expected to peak from late June to late July, with availability through the start of August. Currently, the New Jersey crop is looking good and will help meet Fourth of July demand with promotable volumes for all pack sizes. Pricing is expected to be strong due to lower industry volumes and the impacts of inflation.
In the Pacific Northwest, the blueberry season is also experiencing later start seasons due to cooler weather. Naturipe anticipates production in this region will peak at the end of July and then start to taper off in late September, making this a key region for the late summer season and promotions.
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