The 2021/22 Chilean blueberry season is now halfway through, and exports of this product have been picking up since Jan. 1. In an effort to expand the market share of Chilean blueberries in China, a series of online and offline promotional activities are being conducted.
In January, initiated by the Chilean Blueberry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), over 1,000 offline marketing activities were launched at 60 chain stores of seven key retailers throughout China, namely, Sam’s Club, Hema Fresh, Walmart, AEON, Ole’, Century Mart and 7Fresh.
The run-up to the Chinese New Year festival is one of the peak periods for fruit sales in China, and sales of Chilean blueberries have been steadily climbing owing to the sweet refreshing flavor and nutritional benefits of this fruit.
Chile exported 12,332 metric tons of blueberries during the first week of 2022, representing an increase of 22.9% over the same period of last year and making the week surpass others this season in terms of export volume. In particular, North America and Europe accounted for 93% of these exports, with the remaining 7% going to Asian markets. This upward trend is expected to last until mid-February.
In terms of cultivars, the Legacy, Duke and Brigitta varieties accounted for approximately 80% of total exports, with the remaining 20% composed of over 50 other varieties.
It is also worth noting that exports of organic blueberries from Chile had reached 6,528 metric tons as of the first week of 2022, corresponding to 12% of total exports and representing a tangible increase over the previous season. This growth was largely attributable to increased output from the Ñuble and Biobío regions. In the first week of 2022, 1,614 metric tons of organic blueberries were exported, corresponding to a 25.4% year-on-year increase. On the basis of past experience, shipments of organic blueberries are expected to peak in late January.
According to data released by the Chilean Blueberry Committee, Chile had exported 56,268 metric tons of blueberries as of the second week of 2022, accounting for 47.7% of the total export volume of the previous season. In terms of destinations, the majority of exports were shipped to North America (23,033 metric tons, 40.9%), followed by the European Union (19,064 metric tons, 33.9%), Asia (7,861 metric tons, 14.0%) and the United Kingdom (4,825 metric tons, 8.6%).