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U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Looks to Further Growth for Blueberries

U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Looks to Further Growth for Blueberries

FOLSOM, CA - Blueberries are rocketing, with global production up 40 percent 2012-2016 and projected to reach 1.45 billion lbs. in 2017.

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) sees even more room for growth, noting that demand has matched that trajectory U.S. per capita blueberry consumption grew 599 percent from 1994-2014 in a press release.

Mark Villata, Executive Director, U.S. Highbrush Blueberry Council

“We were pleased to find that, among the top fruits–including bananas, strawberries, apples, grapes and citrus–blueberries are the only one expecting increased consumption in 2017,” said Mark Villata, Executive Director. “The research also helped us refine and expand our consumer and business target audiences so we’re able to concentrate on those with the greatest growth potential.”

In addition to finding that heavy and moderate blueberry users, who represent half of the U.S. population (25 percent each) according to the release, show the most growth potential of all user segments, a recent study found a number of intriguing facts on for a robust blueberry future, including:

  • Heavy users consume 19+ cups per year, are mainly ages 25-45
  • Heavy users have children in the home and span all ethnicities
  • 73 percent of the heavy user group see blueberries as a part of their lifestyle
  • That 73 percent will go out of their way to purchase blueberries and take time to understand the nutritional composition of blueberry-containing foods
  • Fresh and frozen consumption is expected to increase by five percent in 2017
  • Moderate users consume 6-18 cups per year, and span all ages and ethnicities
  • Blueberries are projected to go from moderate users’ #6 preferred fruit to #3 in 2017
  • Among the moderate user segment, fresh and frozen consumption is expected to increase by 12 percent in 2017

“Our summer campaign launching in mid-May will build on those strategies and others,” said Villata. “We’re developing new recipes and promoting them in a way to fit moderate users’ needs, from offering simple, visual recipe guides to partnering with individuals, food and fitness influencers who evoke trust and can aid in establishing blueberries as our target users’ favorite summer food.”

The council noted that these key findings influenced its latest strategies to grow demand even more. With marketing campaigns targeting moderate users, and engaging heavy users to influence moderate users’ blueberry purchases, stay tuned for what’s to come from the blueberry category this season and beyond.

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

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U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Highbush blueberries grow in areas across the globe with North America accounting for more than half of the worldwide...