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Cranberry supply constrained.

With just a few weeks to go before the domestic cranberry harvest begins, the Ocean Spray Growers Cooperative, the largest cranberry producer, has warned that supplies of raw material will be tight over the foreseeable future. The situation stems from a healthy escalation in sales from markets around the world, with the biggest impact from the U.S. market, as consumers increase their demand for the health benefits, taste and refreshment offered by cranberry products. This position reflects that seen for many other fruits and nuts whose global demand is soaring, but whose supplies may sometimes fall short.

"Demand for cranberries has never been higher, driven by the growing awareness of taste and the many health benefits associated with the fruit. The success of Ocean Spray's marketing campaign in the U.S. has created 8% base volume growth and this is being reflected elsewhere as the brand's position is being developed," said Jamie Robinson, commercial director of Ocean Spray International Services UK.

Robinson said that supply into the U.S. market grew to 7.9 million barrels in 2006, compared with 7.2 million barrels in the previous year. U.S. production is estimated at around 6.8 million barrels, and the rest of the supply is mostly accounted for by imports from Chile.

Currently, more than 90% of cranberries are processed into juice, and in the next few years the market will be split between juice and sweetened dried cranberries such as the "Craisins" product. "The demand is for craisins, and it is constraining the supply for juice," confirmed Robinson. The fresh market takes about 5% of the fruit supply, and is relatively stable.

U.S. cranberry sales in the September 2006-April 2007 period (the most recent for which figures are available) have risen to 4.4 million barrels, compared with 3.7 million barrels for the same period a year previously.
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Title Annotation:Ocean Spray Growers Cooperative warns that the supply of canberries will be tight over the foreseeable future
Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 3, 2007
Words:313
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