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Strawberries top U.S. berry sales; other varieties see gains

FORT BLACKMORE—A recent produce industry journal article finds strawberries are the top-selling U.S.-grown berry, while greater availability of other berries has led to sales increases for those.

The Packer noted last month that strawberries’ historical popularity and availability account for their No. 1 sales ranking.

“The larger strawberry growers from California and Florida have been making efforts in recent years to encourage strawberry promotion in retail sales and with other small fruit. So it’s no surprise that we have seen it grow,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Scott County strawberry grower David Mann said he has seen increased demand and is sending his berries to new localities. “We tend to be expanding our sales to farther away from us,” Mann said. “We sell to lots of grocery stores and to people who take the strawberries to Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Growth of strawberry sales is due in part to greater availability, Banks said. “Consumers have a much greater opportunity to buy and pick strawberries. Strawberries have pretty much become a year-round fruit in the United States.”

At the same time, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are becoming greater staples in Americans’ diets.

“Blueberries are high in antioxidants and other compounds that are believed to be beneficial to a healthy diet,” Banks said.

Contact Banks at 804-290-1114.
Posted in: Crops


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