The Fresh Produce Journal reports that consumer demand for soft fruit shows no signs of slowing down after the sector recorded a volume increase of 3.3 per cent last year, while values rose 7.9 per cent.
The article quotes Jo Mumford, business strategy analyst at fruit supplier AG Thames, as saying, “Blueberries and raspberries have featured with ever-increasing frequency in shoppers’ baskets, with the number of purchase occasions being a key driver of change for the berry category. Nearly nine in ten households now buy berries during the course of a year, which continues to show small uplifts as more and more shoppers encounter their benefits.”
However, issues such as labour availability and last year’s hot weather have caused issues for growers, while fierce supermarket competition is putting prices under pressure. While the growth seen in the category is significant, some analysts point out that it is lower than that seen more than a decade ago when the berry craze began.