Its estimated that 70% of all South African blueberries are exported. Pexels

Blueberries are a popular berry, sweet, juicy and versatile, but in the Western Cape, it's more than just a berry.

The Western Cape government has revealed that these tiny berries are a key driver of job creation because the world has an appetite for the fruit.

The statistics reveal that there's been significant growth in the demand for blueberries and SA has been cashing in

  • The blueberry world market has experienced significant growth in recent years, expanding from R8.8 billion in 2011 to R33.7 billion in 2016.
  • There an annual average growth of over 30% for blueberries.
  • 68% of all South Africa’s berries are grown in the Western Cape (data from Hortgro and the SA Berry Association).
  • About 70% of all South African blueberries are exported.
  • 16%  of SA blueberries are sold as fresh in the local market and the remainder enters the agri-processing chain. 

The USA loves blueberries

  • Americans are the world's largest consumers and producers of blueberries.
  • Between 2005 and 2012, American consumption trebled — partially as a result of a significant rise in the number of products which added blueberries as an ingredient. 
  • In 2000, approximately 300 products on the American market contained blueberries, by 2012, this had risen to more than 1000.