A Big Year for Blueberries

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With the 2021 domestic blueberry crop projected to be one of the largest on record, it’s time for growers and marketers across the country to get creative in moving blueberries. On today’s episode, we chat with a blueberry marketer and a produce data expert to assess the 2021 blueberry crop and ways for the industry to manage the large load. 

Host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), is joined by Brian Bocock, Michigan blueberry grower and vice president of sales at Naturipe Farms, and Tom Barnes, chief executive officer of Category Partners

“Bottom line is we got a lot of fruit coming at us … this year could be the first time ever that both May and June put more fresh blueberries into the marketplace than the month of July, and that will be fascinating to watch.” – Brian Bocock

“Among the few categories that are still positive in the produce department … blueberries and strawberries. Both of those are still powerhouse … 2021 looks like this is ramping up already to be a great year for blueberries.” – Tom Barnes

Topics covered include: 

  • Progress made by the produce industry in collecting data. 
  • How the industry will manage the large 2021 blueberry crop.
  • Performance of various categories at grocery stores, and how blueberries are outperforming the overall produce trend. 
  • Why the 2021 crop is so exciting for marketers. 

Crop Report

The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout North and South America. In this episode, you’ll hear from Mario Ramírez in Mexico, Bill Steed in California, Ken Patterson in Florida and Alex Cornelius in Georgia. This was recorded on May 5, 2021.

Marketing Boost

Social media is a vital part of the blueberry marketing mix. On this week’s Marketing Boost, USHBC/NABC Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jennifer Sparks discusses how social media can be used to drive interest in blueberries, and the tools USHBC provides for your social media channels. Check out USHBC’s Toolkits and Marketing Materials here.