Aug 9, 2022USHBC celebrates 2021 successes with annual Impact Report
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is recounting its success last year with the arrival of its 2021 Impact Report.
The annual report outlines the council’s retail programs, foodservice sales, and fresh and frozen berry sales, among other programs designed to boost consumption.
Grab a Boost of Blue
The Grab a Boost of Blue inspirational consumer call to action took root with consumers, retailers and a growing group of industry licensees, USHBC President Kasey Cronquist said. Data and insights took center stage in 2021, with a suite of resources made available at USHBC.org/data.
The strategic positioning and consumer call to action and its corresponding logo were used cohesively in advertising, at point of sale, in social media channels and on packaging to remind consumers of the healthy boost they get from a handful of blueberries, according to a news release.
“Thanks to the collaboration across our industry and a strong guiding vision to make blueberries the world’s favorite fruit, USHBC is perfectly poised to continue to drive the “Blue Wave” and move toward an era of continued growth and innovation, according to the report.
In November 2021, a majority of eligible producers and importers voted in favor of continuing USHBC’s demand-driving work through a referendum vote. With 84% of producers and importers voting in the referendum, (representing 93% of the U.S.volume of participating in the vote), were in favor of continuing the program. This represents a 10% increase in support from producers and importers (and 13% more support by volume) voting in favor of USHBC as compared to the 2016 referendum. A record-breaking 523 million pounds participated in the 2021 referendum. USHBC is using this new mandate of support to power the growth of the blueberry industry, according to the report.
Fresh and frozen sales
In 2021, the total blueberry category and fresh segment volumes grew at a modest rate relative to strong sales in 2020. • Retail volume was up only +1.3% in 2021 relative to a surge of +27.8% in 2020.
Higher retail pricing in 2021 drove strong retail dollar sales growth for fresh blueberries, +7.3%. • Though down vs. 2020, frozen blueberry retail volume and dollar sales saw double-digit increases compared to pre-pandemic levels, indicating a fundamental change in consumers’ behaviors.
For more details on the USHBC’s 2021 programs, including health research, foodservice sales and promotions, exports and industry relations, see the annual Impact Report.