When the pandemic hit the United States, sales of frozen blueberries skyrocketed. Everywhere, families and health-conscious consumers were looking for ways to maintain nutrition, while extending the shelf life of their favorite foods. Frozen blueberries helped consumers thread that needle. In this episode, we talk with one of the foremost purveyors of frozen blueberries in Canada about how the frozen blueberry market is rapidly changing.
Host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), is joined by Steve Phillips, vice president of operations at Berryhill Foods. Cronquist and Phillips discuss the opportunities and challenges within the frozen blueberry market, and the healthy relationship between Canada and the U.S.
“When people start talking about frozen [blueberries], my ears perk up. I feel that’s where some growth needs to happen in this industry. The volume that sits around is in the frozen. That’s got to be looked at. Where can we promote this?” – Steve Phillips
“I think that frozen needs to be talked about more to the consumers, and it’s a tricky one, because [frozen foods are] located in ice cream row most of the time. And when you talk about blueberries and the health halo that surrounds it, for people that are health conscious, that’s the row that they don’t want to go down. ” – Steve Phillips
Topics covered include:
- Overview and history of Berryhill Foods.
- How the pandemic changed the frozen market.
- Opportunities and challenges in the frozen blueberry market.
- The positive relationship between the U.S. and Canadian blueberry industries.