Topics in this issue of Behind the Blue:
- July Nielsen Report
- Winning Vendor Selected to Elevate Blueberry Industry Data and Analytics
- USHBC at IFPA Global Produce Show
July Nielsen Report
The July 2022 Nielsen report shows that total blueberry sales (fresh and frozen combined) are down -17.4% in volume and -2.1% in dollars vs. 2021.
Total fresh blueberry sales are down -20.3% in volume and -4.1% in dollars vs. year average (YA). The fresh organic segment is down -23.4% in volume and -7.6% in dollars vs. YA. The fresh conventional segment is down -19.7% in volume and -3.1% in dollars vs. YA.
The stronger dollar sales performance in the face of double-digit volume declines is driven by low inventories of fresh blueberries, causing significantly higher retail pricing. The average price per pound for all fresh blueberries at retail in July 2021 was $4.00/lb, which has increased +21% to $4.81/lb. Fresh conventional blueberry prices have increased +21% from $3.71/lb in July 2021 to $4.48/lb. Fresh organic blueberries’ retail prices have increased by +21% from $5.39/lb in July 2021 to $6.50/lb.
In the face of limited fresh volume at retail, the frozen blueberry segment is up +4.2% in volume and up +15.8% in dollars. Increases are driven by the conventional segment; up +8.7% in volume and +24% in dollars, while the frozen organic segment is down -15.9% in volume and -8.9% in dollars vs. YA.
In previous years, prices within the frozen segment have remained relatively stable, yet they have seen increases in every month of 2022. The average price per pound for all frozen blueberries at retail in July 2021 was $3.33/lb, which has increased +11% to $3.70/lb. Frozen conventional blueberry prices have increased +14% from $3.06/lb in July 2021 to $3.40/lb. Frozen organic blueberries’ retail prices have increased by +8% from $4.57/lb in July 2021 to $4.95/lb.
USHBC has selected Bytecode IO as the winning vendor for the Blueberry Industry Production and Pricing Data Collection Program. This program is part of an increased emphasis on the use of data to track the effectiveness of efforts to increase the production, sales and value of the blueberry crop produced domestically for U.S. consumption and export markets, and the sales and value of blueberries imported to the U.S. To read more about this effort, view our press release here.
Participation from blueberry producers and marketers will be crucial to the data program’s success. Already, the industry task force has played a crucial role in the selection process. USHBC has been working with a sample data set to start developing a model of the data capture and reporting. The second phase of work will expand on the initial sample set of data, ultimately reflecting a minimum of more than 90% of blueberry volume, both imported and sold in the U.S.
Through this project, USHBC will launch a modernized data analytics platform designed with data governance in mind, which will be previewed at The Blueberry Summit this fall in Nashville, and fully launched on or around December 1, 2022. For access to existing resources from USHBC, visit the data and insights center.
USHBC at IFPA Global Produce Show
USHBC will be attending the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) Global Produce & Floral Show to establish and grow relationships with retailers through networking and education around blueberry data and insights. The Global Produce & Floral Show, which takes place October 27-29 in Orlando, Florida, is the premier destination for the produce and floral industries to connect with and be inspired by individuals, organizations, ideas and data to grow their businesses.
IFPA is attended by manufacturers, retailers, ingredient companies, growers, processors, genetics companies, marketers, media and more. The show also provides an opportunity to demonstrate USHBC’s value to the industry as a go-to resource for useful data and insights that can be used with retailers in driving the volume of blueberries.
Where else will USHBC be? Catch us representing the U.S. blueberry industry at the Prepared Foods’ New Products Conference September 12-13 and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo October 8-11. And, of course, the USHBC will host The Blueberry Summit in Nashville, October 5-7, where we’ll be convening industry thought leaders to explore inspiring blueberry possibilities to boost your bottom line. To register today and learn more, visit blueberryevents.org.
As always, stay tuned for additional updates!