- Per capita blueberry consumption in North America grew almost 50% between 2010 and 2015, according to the North American Blueberry Council (NABC).
- The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council predicts blueberry production in North America will increase to 940 million pounds in 2019, up from 750.2 million pounds last year. By then, the council projects blueberry production will have increased 25% from 2015.
- The Highbush Council wants to target countries where fresh U.S. blueberries are not available—including Australia, Chile, South Korea and Vietnam—to increase demand.
North America accounts for more than half the global supply of blueberries, which is expected to surpass 1.4 billion pounds in 2016, according to the Highbush Council.
"The interest in blueberries from the consumer side is continuing to grow," Mark Villata, the council's executive director, in an interview with Capital Press.
Americans surveyed in 2013 indicated they were twice as likely to purchase blueberries at some point during the next year than those asked in 2004, according to the NABC. Of those surveyed, 84% said they were aware of the fruit's health benefits, a 115% increase from 2004.
Ingredient manufacturers could take this opportunity to formulate new blueberry products, plugging into and promoting their health advantages. Blueberries are low in fat and are a source of vitamin C and manganese. Researchers are looking at the role blueberries may play in cardiovascular and brain health. Blueberries are one of many superfoods on the market, but other ingredients—such as moringa, algae and purple corn—are starting to attract attention for their nutritional value.