Wild Maine blueberry shipments are underway with limited fresh berry loadings from a crop grown mostly for the processors. If you your in the area, you might get at least a partial load, but this certainly a leading volume state.
Distribution ranges primarily from Maine to New York City and Wild Blueberry Commission of Orono, ME thinks they might get a little more fresh directed fruit out of the crop because of some new consumer research.
The commission is hoping consumer trends for natural/healthful eating might lead to more wild blueberries being consumed.
The commission sanctioned research showed, “wild has a place in today’s evolving real food movement….(and) people are looking for foods that are closer to nature…..and that it would taste better…and they probably would buy more of it and pay more for it.”
Wild blueberries are grown only in Maine and Eastern Canada for a few weeks from late July until early September. About 98 percent of the crop is frozen within 24 hours of harvest to ensure year-round availability.
The processed fruit is shipped all over the country and all over the world, often incorporated into granolas, cereal bars, muffins, purees, yogurt and ice cream. However, the fresh berries are only distributed in New England and as far south as New York.
A primary reason for hoping to boost sales of fresh-market blueberries, based upon the research, is fresh fruit is more profitable to growers than frozen ones.
The commission plans to increase its “Fresh from the Wild” sampling programs in supermarkets, will invite the media to visit the barrens where they’re grown for a firsthand look at the low-bush berries, and will feature growers in promotional materials.
The wild blueberries are being promoted as being really special because of its “amazing flavor.”
They’re grown on 10,000-year-old barrens of sandy, acidic soil.