U.S. frozen fruit imports grew to 523.4 million-lbs. in 2014, representing a 13% increase, according to the most recent U.S. Trade reports ending Dec. 31. Value also soared by 20% in a year-to-year comparsion, totaling $455.4 million. The growth was fueled by a burgeoning frozen strawberry market: imports of frozen strawberries, less than 1.2L, rose 26% to $16.7 million in value despite a 3% decrease in volume during the time frame. Imports of frozen strawberries, more than 1.2L, less than 25% sugar, rose 19% in value and 7% in volume. Imports of frozen strawberries, more than 1.2L, NESOI, increased 20% in volume and 23% in value during the time frame.
In addition, imports of frozen bananas and plantains saw significant growth during the Jan.1-Dec. 31 time frame, up 30% in volume to 41.4 million-lbs. and 33% in value to $19.9 million. Imports specifically from Costa Rica closely mirrored this trend, with a 30% increase in volume and a 34% increase in value during the time frame.
Other frozen berry imports did not fare as well as strawberries regarding value, as cranberries dropped 24% and cultivated blueberries dropped 7%.