March Nielsen Report, No Kid Hungry Update, Blueberries Star on More Restaurant Menus


Topics in this issue of Behind the Blue:

screenshot of March 2022 Monthly Nielsen

The most recent USHBC Nielsen report for the week ending March 26 is available here. The March 2022 Nielsen report shows that total blueberry sales (fresh and frozen combined) are up +3.7% in volume and +2.9% in dollars vs. 2021.

Total fresh blueberry sales are up +6.9% in volume and +3.8% in dollars vs. year average (YA). Fresh category growth is being driven exclusively by the conventional segment, which is up +11.7% in volume and +7.5% in dollars vs. YA. The organic segment is down -16.6% in volume and -9.2% in dollars vs. YA. The decline in fresh organic blueberry sales is slightly offset by higher retail prices, with fresh organic selling at $7.09/lb, up +$0.63/lb or +9% relative to last March.

Consistent with frozen volume trends seen in recent months, the frozen blueberry segment is down -9.6% in volume and -2.8% in dollars. The decline in frozen volume is offset by higher retail prices for frozen blueberries. Historically stable in price, the average price per pound for all frozen blueberries at retail in March 2021 was $3.34/lb, which has increased +8% to $3.60/lb. Frozen conventional blueberry prices have increased +10% from $3.09/lb in March 2021 to $3.40/lb. Frozen organic blueberries’ retail prices have increased by +3% from $4.46/lb in March 2021 to $4.50/lb.

Find the full list of Nielsen reports at

The countdown is on to National Blueberry Month in July –  less than three months away! This year, we added a cause-related element to our National Blueberry Month campaign by partnering with No Kid Hungry to help kids in need. In response to the industry’s desire to donate fresh or frozen blueberries to kids this summer, we worked with No Kid Hungry to make that possible, and you answered the call! We’re proud to report that companies and organizations representing many top domestic blueberry growing regions signed up, including organizations from Oregon, California, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey.

A heartfelt thank you to each of you who indicated their interest in donating blueberries. From here, No Kid Hungry will contact interested product donators directly to discuss fulfillment and distribution logistics, based on their summer needs.

Blueberries Star on More Restaurant Menus

Blueberry French Toast

Chef Jon Franke, one of USHBC’s partner chefs who consults for many restaurants and major chains around the U.S., has recently added five innovative blueberry items to menus nationwide. He worked with Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar to launch a blueberry French toast, which rolls out on menus next week. This French toast is made with thick-cut locally baked brioche, bourbon anglaise, blueberry jam, lemon streusel, whipped cream and deluxe vanilla-infused maple syrup.

In the world of foodservice innovation, relationships are key. USHBC’s partnership with Chef Franke has intersected with his work with Meritage Hospitality Group, resulting in four blueberry innovations gaining a spot on the menu at Morning Belle in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Morning Belle team asked specifically for blueberry limited-time offers as they enter the Michigan blueberry season, and Chef Franke is helping them think creatively and holistically about their menu. The four items are:

  1. Blueberry & Lemon-Poppy Seed Angel Food French Toast: Made with toasted lemon-poppy seed angel food cake, cinnamon-vanilla infused pure maple syrup, fresh vanilla whipped cream, fresh local blueberries, blueberry-mint compote, powdered sugar and mint.
  2. Blueberry Acai Bowl: Blend of acai powder, bananas, blueberries and almond milk.  Topped with toasted coconut, chia seeds, fresh blueberries, raspberries, banana slices and basil. Finished with almond and pepita maple clusters.
  3. Sparkling Lemon-Blueberry Smash: Made with fresh blueberries, blueberry vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, ice and champagne. Garnished with a candied lemon wheel and fresh blueberries.
  4. Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Smash Mocktail: Made with fresh blueberries, lemonade, ice and club soda. Garnished with a lemon wedge and fresh blueberries.

“This is a great example of how blueberry innovation is inspiring chefs,” said Jennifer Sparks, USHBC’s vice president of marketing and communications. “And more blueberries on the menu also inspires consumers to grab a boost of blue in new and different ways, which translates to more in-store purchasing as well.”

Stay up to date with news and information from USHBC on how we’re boosting our efforts to drive volume for blueberries in foodservice, and visit for all of our resources for food professionals.