24 Feb 2021

HOW MUCH DO BLUEBERRIES COST AND HOW TO SAVE MONEY

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As with other products in the fruit and vegetable department, the price of blueberries depends on a number of factors and can vary over the course of the year, even frequently, depending on seasonal availability and any shortfalls in supply. These fluctuations are not always indicative of quality, but there are several things you can do to save money and still enjoy high-quality blueberries .

Looking at the figures alone, blueberry has one of the highest costs per kg in the department, mainly due to its high harvesting and packaging costs: blueberries is harvested almost exclusively by hand, practically one by one to select the ripe ones and leave the overripe ones on the plants. But don't be alarmed by the price per kilogram: just a few dozen grams is enough to have a pleasant experience, and the daily dose of blueberries recommended by nutritionists is 80 grams.

In general, do not expect substantial price differences between the main distribution channels for blueberry, such as the supermarket, the online shop or the producer's stall. On the other hand, greengrocers and market stalls may have higher prices, especially if it is the usual 125g packet that is normally found in the supermarket. The higher price of these channels is due to the fact that they have less frequent sales and therefore more waste, or that they serve a clientele more interested in proximity than in price, as in the case of certain greengrocers in wealthier areas of large cities.

To simplify, we can identify four price ranges:

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  • under € 10/kg: this is a very good price, stock up and fill the fridge!
  • between € 10 and € 15/kg: when a 125g basket costs less than Eur 1.89 in the supermarket, go ahead and buy it because it's a good standard price for supermarkets. blueberries
  • between € 15 and € 20/kg: If you really want blueberries then treat yourself, with a 125g basket at € 2.49 we are at the limit but these are still acceptable prices: it's two portions and each one costs little more than a coffee!
  • over 20/kg: only buy if it is something special like a premium or organic product, but if it does not offer any of this wait until prices return to more reasonable levels.

WHERE CAN YOU FIND PRICES ONLINE FOR BLUEBERRIES?

Italian Berry maintains a weekly observatory of the prices of berries sold online in Italy, whose surveys can be consulted here. For prices in supermarkets in the main Italian cities, please refer to thePiccoli Frutti Observatory edited by Myfruit, which visits Italian large-scale retail outlets on a weekly basis, and to the analyses carried out by Italian Berry.

DOES THE PRICE DEPEND ON THE QUALITY?

For blueberries found in the supermarket, does the price depend on the quality? In other words, if I buy blueberries at a higher price, should I expect a higher quality?

Generally, there is no relationship between quality and price. Variations in values depend mainly on market dynamics on which quality has no influence. For example, there may be a shortage of supply, which increases the supermarket's purchase price and thus also the shelf price. And this will not automatically lead to better quality; on the contrary, in such situations there is a risk that the supermarket, in order to fill the shelves, will adapt to buying blueberries which are not completely satisfactory in terms of quality. And thus offer a poorer quality product at a higher price.

There isonly one case in which you should expect better quality for a higher price: this is when the supermarket offers you a "premium" line, such as the blueberries that Esselunga offers in its Primo Gusto line. In this case the price per kg will correspond to a better quality, usually referring to the size of the berries or the superior taste.

But be careful because the price difference can be considerable: for example, in Esselunga's offer of 20/02/2021, blueberry premium cost 56% more than the standard line on promotion. If you are not satisfied with the premium product you have purchased, remember that you have the right to complain to customer service, unless you have already eaten everything! In that case, perhaps you were not entirely dissatisfied.

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HOW TO SAVE MONEY

If you are a careful consumer you can save money when buying blueberries, here's how:

  • In supermarkets, look for the larger packs: the 125g basket is the cheapest, while the larger sizes (250g or 500g cans) can be considerably cheaper per kg. You will not always find different sizes in the same supermarket, but it is likely that other supermarkets will have different sizes, so make sure you check;
  • If you buy directly from the producer, go ahead and haggle: you can certainly get a better price if you buy a larger quantity, if you settle for a slightly smaller than normal blueberry (don't worry, the taste will be the same) or if the fruit is slightly softer and riper;
  • choose supermarkets carefully, prices can vary considerably for the same blueberry purchased on the same day; often a change of supermarket is enough to save up to € 5/kg.
  • some supermarkets offer berries in the late afternoon, with a special sticker indicating the discount: if you are lucky you can buy them at half price.
  • also consider frozen blueberries: the lower cost is justified by varieties that allow the fruit to be harvested mechanically; the nutritional qualities will remain intact and for certain preparations (a fresh summer smoothie) you will also save time!



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