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Blueberry Price

I have oatmeal or cold cereal every morning with blueberries. This month, I've purchased containers (4.4oz) blueberries ranging in price from $1.00 to $3.50. The price fluctuates more than the Dow Jones. I refuse to pay the higher end. I'm wondering why the prices vary from week to week. Has anyone else noticed this. I was looking at raspberries today in our local supermarket and a small container was $4.99 and blueberries $3.49. I'll be using bananas until these prices drop. Lots of positive articles on the health benefits of blueberries which increases demand. I wonder if we're being taken advantage of because of strong demand.

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  1. Are you talking about fresh or frozen blueberries? Because if you are buying fresh blueberries for $1 despite being out of season, then I'm moving to where you live.

    Fresh ... there are all sorts of fluctuations due to weather. Frozen ... who knows? The price of oil in getting the blueberries to the market.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      I live in NYC. I'm talking about fresh blueberries and the low end of $1.00 is rare. Mostly in the range of $1.49 to $3.49 and seem to be from Chile.

      1. re: Mike V

        Even $3.49 is cheap! They were $6.99 for 4 oz here in Queens last week.

        1. re: irishnyc

          please tell me you did not buy those.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I put them back like they were on fire!

          2. re: irishnyc

            I once had a box that was $6.99 in my cart. I didn't check the price before I picked it, but at the cashier, the lady looked at me and asked "These are 6.99, are you sure you want to buy them?" I went "H..LL no." And this was at Whole Foods! I love quality customer service. :)

            1. re: chica

              You're surprised produce costs double at Whole Foods? ;)

          3. re: Mike V

            At $3.49 Mrs jfood gets a treat from the grocer. They've hit the $6.99 mark in CT from Chile. Forgetaboutit.

        2. you don't say where you shop, but everything from the price of gas to pre-arranged contracts on produce prices make the prices fluctuate. those berries are all out of season, and probably from chile, so will remain very high for awhile. i've been buying frozen raspberries and blueberries at trader joe's and they're about 1.99 for a 1 lb. bag. very cheap, fresher and way more flavor than the *fresh* available right now.

          1. My local market is selling the 4.4 oz containers of fresh berries for around $3. The package says "California Blueberries" and "Produce of USA." I assume they wouldn't lie, but I'm not sure how blueberries could be grown here this time of year. (They look pretty good, actually.)

            1. I'm sure there will be some pricing issues with blueberries because of the crops in the southeast US that got frozen a few weeks ago. Double whammy with fruit this year, freezing in California and freezing in the Southeast.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CrazyOne

                Yeah, word here in upstate S.C. is that somewhere between 25% and 75% of the blueberry crop was killed. (100% peaches, plums, apricots, 90% blackberries, unknown figs and apples...gonna be a crappy summer)

              2. This won't help you right now, but when prices do drop substantially (mid-late summer for local berries in the northeast), you might consider buying in bulk and freezing them yourself. I tried this for the first time last year, with tiny wild blueberries from the farmers' market, and am really happy with the results. I double bagged to avoid freezer burn, and just broke into the last batch a week or two ago - still good.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chloe103

                  Great Suggestion about freezing the blueberries in double bags. I never thought of this. That's what I'll do when prices come down. Thanks.

                  1. re: Mike V

                    Here's a tip when frozen berries: Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet or something and freeze them that way. Once they are frozen, you can then transfer them to a plastic bag. That way, you don't get big clumps of berries stuck together. Also, don't wash them before you freeze them. The water will stick and cause freezer burn/clumping.

                    1. re: dukegirl

                      I wash before freezing because I want to get the micro-cooties off. However I pat them dry with a paper towel and then put them in a single layer to freeze before transfering to containers.

                2. Produce received out of season has to be grown in green or screen or plastic houses--often heated and using UV light--or brought from anywhere from Mexico to Chile to Indonesia--all of which have high costs passed necessarily to consumers. As shown on Deutsche-Welle a couple of weeks ago, one German asparagas farmer installed sub-surface heated air vents to obtain a two-week early harvest--at very high cost, a cost reasonably passed on to consumers. Early season price fluctuations have to do with unavoidable errors regarding demand on the part of your vendors--you got cheap blueberries where someone overestimated demand and/or consumer willingness to pay--and where the vendor had no choice but to lower prices prior to goods perishing (a win for you).

                  1. We do berries on cereal in the morning also -- in Toronto, BBs run about $2.50 in season and $3-5 in the winter. Raspberries run about $4 all the time. We have taken to buying frozen berries, that were picked in season from the specialty places in the market. For cereal, the mushier texture is fine .. . and they taste great! In fact, the thawed/frozen taste better than the fresh I can buy in the store.

                    1. I have a Costco near me that sells frozen wild blueberries @ $6/3#. The brand is Wyman's. They are grown & pkg in Me. and available year round. The quality is good. I pour the frozen bb into a bowl, sprinkle with sugar, add cereal (no milk) and microwave for a few seconds.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Martypb7

                        It all reminds me of my childhood years in New England. I would pick blueberries and put them in quart milk bottles, then go up and down the street peddling them for
                        twenty-five cents per bottle. Probably 20-25 ounces of berries per quart.....

                        No pesticides or mini-cooties.......

                      2. You may want to see if there are any u-pick blueberry farms in your area. Here in Bellingham, Wa there is one that charges $1.60/lb for u pick your own.