The global blueberry industry is set for significant growth in the coming years, with an emphasis on operational efficiency and ‘premiumization.’ According to a Rabobank study, North America, particularly the United States, will remain the top market for fresh and frozen blueberries, while Peru, Mexico, and Chile will be the leading fresh blueberry exporters. Supply-side challenges like logistics and input costs are gradually improving, but margin pressures are driving the industry to enhance efficiency and fruit quality. David Magaña, Senior Analyst – Fresh Produce at Rabobank, highlights the importance of adopting new technology and varieties to meet global consumer demands.
Over the last decade, global fresh blueberry exports have steadily expanded, driven by various growing regions, including Peru, South Africa, Morocco, Mexico, Poland, and Spain. Although El Niño-related weather anomalies may limit Peruvian exports temporarily, Rabobank forecasts a long-term growth trend for global fresh blueberry exports, potentially exceeding 1 million metric tons by 2026/27. Peru, Mexico, and Chile are the top fresh blueberry exporters, but warm weather delays in Peru and declining exports from Chile pose challenges.
In the United States, frozen blueberries rank as one of the most popular frozen fruits, with Canada being the largest source, followed by Chile, Peru, and Argentina. The appeal of blueberries, owing to their health benefits, convenience, flavor, and versatility, is expected to continue driving demand, ensuring a prosperous future for the industry.