In 2016, the blueberry and cranberry market reached 1.4K tons, growing by +8.4% per year over the last nine years. After a notable 21% growth in 2008, the blueberry and cranberry market levelled off over the next two years and then regained a positive trend with strong growth from 2011 to 2016. In wholesale prices, the market totalled $8.0B, a 19% growth over the last year. This figure reflects the total revenue of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

US and Canada

The countries with the highest consumption were the United States (US) (61% of total consumption), Canada (20%), the United Kingdom (UK) (3%) and Germany (2%). The other global leaders together comprised approximately 14% of global consumption.

The highest annual rates of growth in terms of blueberry and cranberry consumption from 2007 to 2016 were recorded in the UK, with a +16.4% growth, and in Germany, with +15.5%. Consequently, these countries strengthened their share in terms of global consumption by a mere +1 percentage point each. Canada, incidentally, increased its share from 17% in 2007, to 20% in 2016 due to an annual rate of growth of +10.3% over the last nine years.

Amongst the leading consuming countries, high levels of per capita consumption were recorded in Canada (7.98 kg/year in 2016), which was significantly higher than the world average of 0.19 kg/year. The UK (0.63 kg/year) and Germany (0.34 kg/year) had the lowest volumes of blueberry and cranberry consumption. In the major consuming country, the US, per capita consumption stood at 2.65 kg per year in 2016. All of these countries experienced growth of per capita consumption over the period under review.

Diversifying the business

Blueberries and cranberries constitute a favourable option in terms of investing funds and achieving business diversification, in comparison with many other types of fruit. Despite the fact that the supply of blueberries and cranberries onto the global market is inferior in terms of volume compared to many popular types of fruit (bananas and apples, for example), the volume of supply is tangibly increasing. Equally, export prices remain high and are rising, thereby enhancing exporter gains.

Promising markets for sourcing

The US, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and Morocco appear to be the most promising countries for sourcing blueberries. The US currently affords the best production opportunities. Almost half of the total global volume of blueberries is produced here. The country’s favourable weather conditions for blueberry crop cultivation generate the highest yield figures. In recent years, US blueberry production has surged, as a result of increased cultivation sites. Despite the sizeable volume of production, the US exports only 4% of its total production volume. Export prices are high and are continuing to increase, although the volume of exports is currently seeing a decline.

In Canada, Chile, Mexico and Morocco the production volume remained significantly lower, but experienced faster rates of growth than in the US. These countries were also more focused on exports.  The share of export in both Canada and Mexico reached 29%; in Morocco, this figure was 43% and Chile exported 98% of its total yield, therefore constituting the leader in terms of global blueberry exports. Export prices on average have seen a slight decline; the lowest prices were recorded in Canada.

Imported blueberries and cranberries

Over the period under review, the US constituted a key blueberry consuming country, determining the trends on the global blueberry market. Given the developed food industry in the US and the high levels of awareness in the country regarding the various health benefits of blueberries, as well as research initiatives into production technology, blueberry consumption is set to maintain stable rates of growth. Extensive opportunities for blueberry importers are generated by stable, year-round demand. Despite the significant volume of domestic production, however, the  US remains a major importer of blueberries and cranberries.

China, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Norway also constitute prospective markets for foreign suppliers. Although imports remain lower in terms of volume than in the US, they are currently significant and increasing.

Global output continues to grow

Blueberry and cranberry production reached 1.4K tons in 2016, with a positive dynamic being recorded over the last nine years. From 2008 to 2011, the volume of production remained quite stable; from 2011, production started to see a notable increase, due to growth being experienced in the key producer countries. In value terms, production expanded by 19%, on average, per year from 2007 to 2016, amounting to $8.0B in 2016.

The US remained a key world blueberry and cranberry producing country, with an output of approximately 669K tons in 2016, which accounted for 49% of total global output. The other major producers were Canada (25%), Chile (8%), Spain (3%), Peru (3%), Mexico (2%) and Morocco (2%).

In the US, production levels increased by +5.1% annually from 2007 to 2016, largely as a result of the favourable weather conditions, along with the expansion of harvested areas. The other main producers experienced even more pronounced paces of production growth: Canada (+9.8% per year), Chile (+18.5% per year), Spain (+31.8% per year), Morocco (+38.8% per year), Mexico (+83.5% per year) and Peru (+146.9% per year).

Blueberry exports

Blueberries and cranberries are a widely traded commodity, with the share of export in total global output at approximately 30% in 2016 (+7 percentage points against 2007). A high trade intensity is determined mainly by the substantial distances between the main blueberry and cranberry producing countries and the key consuming countries. Blueberries and cranberries will continue to be highly traded, fuelled by increasing consumption, trade liberalization policies, and intense global and regional integration.

In 2016, the volume of global exports totalled 409K tons. Overall, exports increased with an annual average growth rate of +11.1% per year over the period under review.

Chile (28%, based on tons) and Canada (25%) were the largest global suppliers of blueberries and cranberries, together comprising a combined share of 53% of global exports. From 2007 to 2016, Chile (+18.8% per year) was one of the fastest growing suppliers amongst the major exporters, while Canada (+6.3%) experienced more modest paces of growth.

Chile (+13 percentage points) increased its position in the global export structure, while the shares of the US (-22 percentage points) and Canada (-12 percentage points) reduced over the last nine years.

The US constitutes a major importer of blueberries and cranberries, assuming a 47% share of global imports.

The volume of global imports totalled 438K tons in 2016. The imports trend pattern generally mirrored that of exports. These trade flows globally complement each other.

The US (47%, based on tons) appeared as the main destination for blueberry and cranberry imports. It was followed by Canada (10%), the UK (10%), the Netherlands (6%), Germany (5%), China (3%) and Spain (2%), together comprising 83% of global imports.

Amongst the major importing countries China (+49.7% per year) and Spain (+42.3% per year) gained the highest annual rates of growth from 2007 to 2016. The US showed more modest paces of growth, with a CAGR of +11.4%.

The share of Canada (+9 percentage points) and the US (+7 percentage points) decreased significantly from 2007 to 2016, while the shares of the other countries increased throughout the analysed period. –IndexBox press release