Blueberries may be marketed at roadside stands, at pick-your-own operations, at on-farm sales or at farmer’s markets. There also are well-established wholesale markets for both fresh and frozen blueberries.
In general, returns to growers are usually higher for fresh berries. Most producers, especially organic growers, choose to sell fresh berries. Although highbush blueberries are grown for both fresh fruit and processing markets, nearly half of the cultivated blueberries grown are sold as fresh blueberries.
Selling berries wholesale through growers’ cooperatives is another marketing option. This option is typically used when local retail markets become saturated.
Today, blueberry producers are marketing blueberries as a healthy food source that contains flavonoids, vitamin C, anthocyanins and phenolic acids. Blueberries also are the richest fruit source of antioxidants.
Blueberries have become a popular “U-Pick” crop. When acreage exceeds the capacity of U-Pick customers, hired labor becomes necessary. One rule of thumb suggests that 10 to 15 pickers per acre are required during the height of the harvest season.
For more information about marketing options, see the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service “ATTRA” publications: Direct Marketing, Farmers’ Markets and Adding Value to Farm Products: An Overview.
Kuepper, George and Steve Diver. 2004. Blueberries: Organic Production Horticulture Production Guide.Retrieved 01 June 2010.