JONESPORT, Maine — This year’s wild blueberry harvest has begun and as sweet and wonderful as the little round berries taste fresh from the fields, producers are banking on capturing the frozen fruit market.
Till explained that because the berries do not get mushy or lose their flavor or healthful benefits, they have an edge over cultivated berries when frozen.
Of last year’s 88 million pounds of wild blueberries, only 600,000 pounds were sold fresh.
The remaining 87.4 million pounds were processed: sold as ingredients in muffins, ice cream and other foods.
But a new marketing campaign launched a year ago is reaping rewards, Sue Till of the Swardlick Marketing Group told more than 100 wild blueberry producers gathered this week at Blueberry Hill in Jonesboro, the University of Maine’s blueberry experimental farm.
Rather than attempt to capture the fresh market — which is already in the hands of cultivated blueberry producers in Michigan, California, New Jersey, Oregon, and a handful of other states — Maine’s wild blueberry producers are promoting frozen berries.
Click on the link for the rest of this story by Sharon Kiley Mack in the Bangor Daily News.