Russian blueberry imports continue to increase at record rates
March 1, 2021

Russian consumers continue to be actively interested in new niche products despite declining income levels. The latest berry trend in Russia in recent years has become the blueberry, which is confirmed by both the development of domestic production and the active growth of imports.

In 2020, Russia imported 7,600 tons of blueberries, valued at 55.9 million U.S. dollars, an increase of 65% over the same period last year. Therefore, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the growth rate of blueberries imported to Russia is still accelerating. quoted Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as saying: “Considering that blueberries are the most expensive berry on the market and the average Russian consumer is not very wealthy, it might seem that consumption should not grow very quickly.”

“However, speaking about the prospects for the consumption of blueberries in Russia, it is necessary to take into account other important factors, namely: the growing popularity of a healthy lifestyle (HLS) and that blueberries are considered almost a superfood; Russian consumers are most familiar with the closest relative of blueberries – forest blueberries (so blueberries are not so exotic for them); and, most importantly, the consumption of blueberries per one resident in Russia is negligible 70 grams per year or ten times less than, for example, in the United States and much less than in most EU countries. This means that the prospects for consumption growth are quite good here, despite the economic crisis.”