Burst of Reporting on Aronia Berries as New Superfood

The Aronia berry is catching on. This summer, an Associated Press news story was picked up by a number of major news outlets to report on the emergence of the Aronia berry as a new “superfood” and the strongest of antioxidant fruits. Aronia berries are native to North America, but have only recently begun to be recognized as an important nutritional source. According to the article, the beginning of the new Aronia berry trend in the U.S. can be traced back to 1997, with the planting of 200 bushes in Iowa. Now, Aronia berry farmers produce millions of pounds of the berry each year, and hundreds of products containing the antioxidant are showing up on store shelves in the U.S. and overseas.

Aronia berry is a leading antioxidant fruit.

Aronia berry can be found in more than 440 products now!

Major News Outlets Cover AP Story about Aronia Berries

CBS News, using pieces of the AP article, reported the Aronia berry recently underwent a “rebranding” to overcome its reputation as a tart fruit. The article includes quotes from Andrew Pittz of Sawmill Hollow in Iowa. His parents were the ones who planted the notable 200 bushes in 1997 marking the beginning of the trend. Pittz said he planted Aronia bushes in all 99 Iowa counties last year, and he hopes the Aronia berry becomes to Iowa what peaches are to Georgia. The article reported that the Aronia berry is now being promoted by the University of Iowa as a value-added crop.

The Des Moines Register referred to the Sawmill Hollow story and also shared information about producers and the growing industry. According to the article, one small producer increased production in one year from 1,000 to 5,000 pounds with the same number bushes. This shows the prolific nature of the bushes. As they mature, they produce many more berries, which makes them a great crop for growers. The article lists benefits of the berry for farmers: hardiness, sustainability without chemicals, scale for local producers and nutritional value.

Other news outlets sharing parts of the AP story included USA Today, Fox News, New York Daily News and The Atlantic (online publication associated with The Atlantic Monthly). Other articles featuring the berry have appeared in The Wall Street Journal and other respected national publications.

Interesting Aronia Berry Facts

The articles based on the AP story shared the following interesting facts about the berry and its beginning in Iowa:

• The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry published research showing the Aronia berry’s antioxidant strength is one of the highest values ever recorded for a fruit.

• The 2013 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Food Processing Center’s Product Traffic Report shows more than 440 new products containing the Aronia berry—60 of them in the U.S.: juice, supplement powders, baby food and many wines and other drinks.

• The price per pound for the berry, in a young, not-yet-stable industry, runs from fifty cents to $7.50.

• A mature bush (four or five years old) produces about 20 pounds of fruit a year.

• A couple of news organizations based specifically on the Aronia berry are now tracking production and economic impact of the berry.

• The name of the fruit is derived from its genus name, Aronia melanocarpa. Its common name, chokeberry, reflects the tartness of the berry and has been abandoned for the more favorable genus-based name.

Several of this summer’s articles reminded readers that studies have indicated antioxidants assist in improving health, but our understanding is still developing and it hasn’t been proven they prevent diseases. It’s hoped future medical and scientific studies will show antioxidants fight the development of disease in the human body on a cellular level. For those who want to test the theory that antioxidants improve health or develop products to support it, Aronia berry products might be a perfect source.

BioVi™ Probiotic Blend supplements contain Aronia berry as an added benefit to the probiotics.

References:

CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/aronia-berry-rebranding-helps-a-new-superfood-catch-on/

New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/aronia-berry-gaining-market-foothold-u-s-article-1.1866130

USA Todayhttp://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/12/aronia-berry-gaining-market-foothold-in-us/12571761/

The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323823004578595610077083082

Des Moines Register: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/life/home-garden/2014/09/02/aronia-berries-health-benefits/14954085/