Traditionally in the spring around late May, we see the fresh market blueberry pricing getting competitive and starting to drop. This year, Georgia saw earlier than usual Highbush ripening which took the tip off the usual peak of production. That aside, all indicators are that volumes are higher than previous years for the SHB growing regions throughout the US and Mexico.
With increased volumes, why are prices remaining strong and so surprisingly steady? (Right now we are seeing retail prices in the $18 - $26 range for 12x6oz and terminal prices that are reaching the high $30’s for 6 oz tray equivalents.) Is this increased demand helped by the move by McDonald’s and leading U.S. players to bring fresh RTE blues to the fast food chain, or is it because of increased demand for new products in the packaged food business? Or perhaps it is because of increases in consumer demand for the blueberries they want at a price they can afford and quality that keeps them coming back? What do you think?
Speaking of McDonalds, what do you think it would cost for any fruit commodity to feature their product across all media nationally the way McDonalds has?