Counter season to be the blueberry industry’s ‘new peak’ IBO says
The International Blueberry Organization (IBO) unveiled its highly anticipated 2023 State of the Global Blueberry Industry report on Aug. 15, via a live presentation. The analysis thoroughly examines the sector’s challenges and strengths, confirming a shift in production towards the counter season.
“Sometime either in 2023 or 2024, the industry will see more fresh volumes shipped globally between October 15 and November 15th than in the month of July, driven by Peru and various other newer sources of supply,” the report says.
Roughly a decade ago, this same period was virtually devoid of product. However, the fall, winter, and spring periods in the northern hemisphere have experienced drastic improvements in both availability and quality, driving significant increases in consumption.
This increased availability of more consistent quality fruit is driving focus on quality as well as value creation and category segmentation year round, the report finds.
Despite exponential growth, the report states that there's been a considerable squeeze on margins, with input costs in 2022 soaring between 20-30% and non-harvest costs even doubling in some instances.
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However, IBO says that the tide seems to be turning, with costs starting to normalize. The report also highlights the increasing importance of strategies like demand promotions, spotlighting the success of Poland, the emphasis on field efficiency, and the relentless pursuit of quality.
The 2023 State of the Global Blueberry Industry report seeks to provide valuable insight on the sector’s status.
“An important part of our mandate is to provide information to empower transparency and informed decision making as we work together to increase consumption and support a healthy future for the industry,” says Peter McPherson, chairman of the IBO.
This new report is an incremental expansion on the 2022 report, offering a similar structure and layout with some expanded reporting and data tools.
“The depth of analysis and insights will surely serve as a valuable resource for all stakeholders, ensuring we can make informed decisions and understand the shifting dynamics of our industry," says Cort Brazelton, Chief Editor and co-author of the report.
The 2023 State of the Global Blueberry Industry report is free and can be downloaded here.