The Europe, India, and Middle East & Africa (MEA) fresh blueberry market was valued at USD 1,075.7 Million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 1,693.5 Million by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period. Blueberries are known as king of antioxidant fruits. They are often labeled as superfoods, as they are rich in nutrients, low on calories, convenient, and are good for the health. Furthermore, blueberries can be eaten fresh or incorporated into a variety of recipes, as they are sweet and impart a beautiful purple-blue hue to the food. They can also be purchased frozen. Various benefits associated with blueberries include protection against cancer and heart diseases, helps maintain mental health, maintain blood pressure, and improves bone strength. Blueberries comprise of a plant compound known as anthocyanin, which give blueberries their color and several other health benefits. One cup of blueberries gives 24% of a person daily recommended allowance of vitamin C.

Market Dynamics

Blueberries are rich in vitamin C & K, fiber, and manganese. The preference for blueberry food products is increasing owing to rising health consciousness, as blueberries reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and overall mortality. Additionally, blueberries promote skin and hair health, weight loss, and increase energy, which in turn, is driving the demand for blueberry. Growing use of blueberry in healthy snacks is projected to boost the fresh blueberry market growth.

Blueberries have antioxidants such as anthocyanin, which helps in keeping memory sharp with age and of anti-cancer properties. Blueberries are a good sources of fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Consumers are moving toward soft fruit shelf owing to the increasing awareness about super fruits. These are some of the major factors that are expected to drive the consumption of fresh blueberries during the forecast period.

Rising health awareness and healthy lifestyle help prevent long-term illnesses and chronic diseases. Blueberries have several benefits such as protection against heart disease and cancer, maintaining mental health, bone strength, and healthful blood pressure. Increasing awareness about health-related concerns, rising awareness about blueberries as a natural functional food, and growing adoption of healthy lifestyle are projected to boost the market growth.

The geriatric population is increasing at an unprecedented rate and increasing healthcare costs, which in turn, is fueling consumption of blueberries, as they protect against oxidative inflammation and stress in aging. Additionally, blueberries exert their effects directly on the brain through changes in cellular signaling. Nutritional interferences containing polyphenolics in blueberries, which slow down the aging of the brain, and prevents the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Damages caused to fresh fruits and products lead to increased water loss and postharvest decay. Punctures, cuts, abrasions, bruising, and crushing cause substantial quality losses. Loss of fruit quality during postharvest handling is the result of physiological breakdown, decay, and dehydration. Fruits must be of high quality to maximize storage life. High quality of blueberries depends on factors including cultural practices, cultivar, rising environment, and harvest practices. Quality loss during postharvest handling is projected to hamper the market during the forecast period.

 

Prices of fresh blueberries are high owing to the high labor costs. The price of blueberries is higher in the Middle East & Africa as compared to other regions, as blueberry exports are being disrupted owing to limited air freight availability, and high air freighting rates, which in turn is expected to hamper the fresh blueberry market during the forecast period.

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Shelf life of fresh vegetables and fruits is significantly influenced by environmental conditions. Rising temperature generally results in accelerated shelf-life reduction and loss of quality. Improvements in logistic and packaging by developing methods to use air temperature for highest shelf-life and to prevent them from damage, cuts, abrasions, bruising, and crushing, is projected to create opportunities for market players to increase their production and improve supply chain during the forecast period.

Blueberries are popular globally owing to the health benefits associated with the fruit. Cultivation of blueberries needs an annual chilling of 800 to 1,200 hours and acidic soils with a pH value of around 4.2 to 5; therefore, it can be cultivated in high hills. In India and China, blueberry farming is limited and emerging market players in these countries are expected to experience huge future potential due to its health benefits and antioxidant properties. Growing blueberries with correct cultivation practices in India and China is expected to create opportunities in the market during the forecast period.

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