U.S. blueberry consumption rises despite weak economy - FreshFruitPortal.com

U.S. blueberry consumption rises despite weak economy

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U.S. blueberry consumption rises despite weak economy

Demand for blueberries has risen in the U.S. in the last few years despite the economic crisis that has forced many to change their spending habits.

Mark Villata, executive director of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, told thepacker.com that Americans continue to eat blueberries despite an economy that has required many to limit their spending.

According to a study by the University of California-Davis, per capita consumption of blueberries rose 93 percent from 1998 to 2008, from 13.8 ounces to 26.6 ounces. Consumption of fresh berries more than doubled, from 5.2 ounces to 12.3 ounces.

With these figures as a baseline, blueberry importers in Argentina said this season will bring good results for producers.

“There is a constant demand. We´re in an upward curve even thought the economy is weak. There is more unemployment here in Oregon than anywhere, but people are buying more blueberries,” said Bobby Stokes, sales director for Curry & Co. He emphasized that the nutritional benefits attract consumers, interests that seem bigger than economic ones.

Bryan Ostlund, executive director of the Oregon Blueberry Commission, said that the lesson of the current situation is that the economy doesn´t seem to affect demand for blueberries.

“We saw a weakening in prices in the last several years, but that probably had more to do with the fast rise in supply.  I am sure that estimates are adjusting and the fruit that was out of season can be a bit expensive, but the demand continues  to be strong,” he said.

Source: Portal Fruticola

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