Blueberries can be a great treat at any time of the year.
They can work well for baking or just eating all on their own.
If you haven’t noticed, the price of blueberries has increased quite a bit in the last few years.
There are a few reasons behind the high pricing of blueberries, so let’s take a bit of a deeper look.
Why Are Blueberries so Expensive?
Blueberries are very picky when it comes to where they can grow.
Some climates which can grow blueberries in the summer can’t grow them in the winter and vice versa.
Blueberry plants like to be comfortable.
If the weather gets too hot or too cold, they will not produce.
This can be difficult to keep up with and manage.
Many farms will choose a crop they can produce all year because it is easier for them to manage, and it’s easier to train employees as well.
Lots of fruits tend to enjoy growing in warmer climates.
When it comes to blueberries, they need some warmth, but when it gets really hot and humid, they can’t grow.
A place like South Florida could be good for blueberries during part of the year, but the plants won’t do well during the summer.
This makes things a bit difficult, and it certainly increases the price of the blueberries as well.
When the weather experiences change like more or less rain in a season, you will also notice that the price of blueberries will change.
A drought can cause a poor crop, and so can an excess of rain.
Sometimes blueberries have to be grown in a more controlled environment, and this increases the cost as well.
Generally speaking, this is not the easiest plant to grow from a weather and climate standpoint.
2. Hand Picking
Although there are lots of fruits and vegetables which need to be hand-picked, few are as tedious as the blueberry.
Blueberries are very small, and they have to be hand-picked.
When you pick a blueberry, you have to pick one at a time.
There is no way to shake the plant and have all of your blueberries end up in a bucket.
This is tedious and time-consuming work, and as of right now, it is work that needs to be done by humans.
This hand picking will undoubtedly increase the price of the blueberries.
In order to pick all the blueberries off a single plant, it will take a worker a good amount of time.
The blueberries must be checked for ripeness as well.
Blueberries will not continue to ripen once they are picked, so it’s essential to make sure they are picked at precisely the right time.
Hand picking also leads to other increased costs like labor costs and even transportation.
Out on the farm, the blueberries need to be picked by hand, put into buckets or containers, and then moved and stored throughout the farm.
Once a blueberry is picked, it is quite delicate and needs to be handled with care.
3. Delicate Shipping and Handling
Blueberries are delicate once they are picked, and they need refrigeration as well.
If blueberries are not kept refrigerated, they will start to go bad.
The problem with refrigeration and shipping products which need to be kept cool is that it is quite expensive.
You will end up seeing this reflected in the cost of your blueberries.
You probably notice that, when blueberries are in the store, they are not stored in the same area as the apples and also not in the freezer or milk section.
Again, they like to be kept in a cool and comfortable environment just like humans.
The longer the blueberries are kept in these temperatures, the better the chance they have of making it to the consumer while still in great shape.
When you purchase blueberries, you will know that they probably only last a few days.
If a farmer were to pick them and not put them into refrigeration, they would last for an even shorter period of time.
All of these individual factors are going to increase the price consumers will pay for blueberries.
Blueberries are healthy food.
If you have not noticed, healthy foods generally cost quite a bit more money.
The better a food is for you, the more nutritional benefit it packs, the more money you will have to pay for it.
Fruits, in general, are not always that healthy.
Many people assume that, because it is a fruit, it must be good for you.
Fruits can be very high in sugar, and therefore, they are not always the best possible food to eat.
Blueberries, however, are low in sugar, low in calories, and are perhaps one of the best antioxidants on the planet.
An antioxidant can work to help keep you healthy.
Blueberries are known to lower blood pressure and potentially blood sugar as well.
Of course, all foods should be consumed in moderation, but there are lots of things about blueberries which should encourage you to put them on your table.
If blueberries were less healthy, like celery or something similar, their prices would be lower.
This is not the only factor which affects pricing, but if you look at the cost of a salad compared to fast food, you can see this trend.
Healthy food comes at a hefty cost.
5. Labor Costs
We already discussed that blueberries need to be hand-picked, but there are many other parts to this labor process which should be considered.
A single blueberry plant is going to give you about four to five quarts of blueberries.
This is a good amount, but when you talk about feeding the greater population, certainly, hundreds of thousands of plants would be required.
Each plant does not just need to be picked, but it must be cared for prior to harvest as well.
There is trimming, pruning, and weeding that occurs when caring for blueberry plants.
Some workers are skilled at picking, and others know how to prune.
Pruning plants takes some understanding and guidance, as you can’t just start chopping a plant up.
Labor costs also have to include the employee’s insurance benefits and other employee expenses as well.
Before you know it, each blueberry you eat is going to have quite a bit of labor costs wrapped up in it.
There is not much that can be done when it comes to labor costs and blueberries.
The labor costs are high because of the amount that needs to be produced.
The people who work on the blueberry farms need to be able to feed their own families.
If you have ever owned a blueberry plant, you know how much work is involved in the process and can probably easily relate to these high costs.
How Long Do Blueberries Last When Out of the Fridge?
As we mentioned when we discussed why blueberries are so expensive, blueberries tend to go bad when they are not kept in the cold.
When a blueberry is out of the fridge for about two days, you will notice mold starting to grow, and the blueberries will start to lose their shape.
When you leave the blueberries in the fridge, you should get much longer than two days out of them.
How to Make Blueberries Last Longer
If you purchase a large batch of blueberries and you want them to last for quite some time, there is a trick that will help.
When you first get your blueberries, you can wash them in a water and vinegar solution.
You will not need a lot of vinegar, just a tablespoon or so in a couple cups of water.
Rinse the blueberries in this water and vinegar solution, and you will kill all the mold that may be sitting on them.
The mold is what starts to grow in the refrigerator and makes the blueberries taste bad.
If you overdo the vinegar, your blueberries may develop a tart taste.
You really don’t want to put much on them, just enough to kill the mold that may be on the surface of the blueberries.
Keep in mind that, when you take the blueberries out again, you can always wash them to make sure the rest of the vinegar is removed.
Vinegar is a great tool to have in your kitchen.
Not only is it good for cleaning fruits and vegetables, but it works great for cleaning counters, sinks, and refrigerators as well.
It is a natural cleaner that is also very effective.
Why Are Organic Blueberries so Expensive?
Organic blueberries are those on which no harsh chemicals or pesticides are used when they are being grown.
This helps to make the fruit much healthier to eat.
If you compare the pricing of blueberries to organic blueberries, you will see a large difference.
Part of this comes from the fact that blueberries are already quite difficult to grow.
When you factor in trying to grow them without the help of fungicide or pesticides, it can be very difficult.
The added labor to grow organic blueberries is going to increase the price that it costs the consumer when the blueberries make it to the store.
How to Save Money on Blueberries
If you are a big fan of blueberries, you are probably curious how you can save some money on them.
Adding blueberries to your daily diet is a great thing for your health, but it can add up pretty quickly.
If you find you are consuming a lot of blueberries, it may be time to look into purchasing a blueberry bush.
Growing these in your yard will take a bit of practice and some protection from the birds, but it is possible.
Blueberries often grow wild in nature, so you should be able to manage this project with a little research and time.
Another way to save money on blueberries is to purchase in bulk.
Blueberries in large containers tend to be priced a bit lower than those in the smaller batches.
If you follow some of the preservation techniques, you can have blueberries which last you for many days in your refrigerator.
This really helps to lower the cost you pay per blueberry.
As you can see, blueberries have a good reason for being so expensive.
They take some time to grow, and they have to be grown in very specific conditions.
If you don’t have the time to grow blueberries, make sure you buy them in bulk when you see them on sale.
You can even freeze them if you need to.
Blueberries are great for your health, so it is worth it to pay some extra money to add them to your diet.
Just be smart about how and when you buy them so you can keep buying them week after week.