Costco offers a variety of blueberry products throughout the
year, from fresh and frozen containers to muffins and other
delicious goods from the
Kirkland Signature™ Bakery.
• For additional healthy eating
tips from Dr. Pratt and my
mom’s recipe for fresh Belgian
Blueberry Tart, visit costco.com,
click on “Costco magazine,” then
“Buying Smart, bonus material.”
• SuperFoods HealthStyle: Proven
Strategies for Lifelong Health, by Dr.
Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews, is
now available in Costco warehouses.
the buyers. All suppliers must sign Costco’s strict
switches to Southern Hemisphere berry farms. The Vendor Agreement, including the Vendor Code of
same flavor profile holds true for southern varietals. Conduct, which sets the standards related to labor,
Early-October berries provide the mildest flavor, health, safety and environmental issues affecting
Januarys are the sweetest and early springs are workers whoproduce Costcoproducts.
slightly tart. Final oversight is conducted by the Food and
Todd notes, “We always buy local if we can. At Drug Administration, with testing done by the U.S.
the same time, we are proud of our global-sourcing Department of Agriculture in the country of origin.
initiative. The only time fresh blueberries are not in Heather points out that besides great taste and
stock is if there is a major rain or during the transi- nutritional advantages, ease of storage and use are
tion weeks of late September and early April.” also key factors in the exploding popularity of blue-
Berries are personally taste-tested by the buyers berries. She advises members not to scrub off the
to get just the right balanced flavor profile. A sweet whitish gray “bloom” on the berries. It acts as a nat-bite combined with a slightly tart aftertaste is ideal. ural deterioration barrier.
Costco requests only two yields per field, as a To store, remove any damaged fruit prior to
third harvest tends to produce smaller berries. And refrigerating and wash berries right before using.
since Southern Hemisphere rabbiteye varietals tend The sooner they are eaten, the fresher the taste.
to be seedy and tough, they are not permitted. Here are a few quick, healthy, low-calorie blue-
More expensive hand-harvesting is also man- berry serving ideas from Dr. SuperFoods:
dated. “Cheaper machine-harvesting methods are • Sprinkle berries and wheat germ on yogurt.
available, but they tend to bruise the berries,” Todd • Mix with hot oatmeal.
reports. “It’s pretty easy to tell the two processes • Toss onto cold cereal.
apart. Machine-harvested fruit has a higher percent- • Whip into a smoothie with yogurt, banana, ice
age of berries with stems attached, more underripe and soy or nonfat milk.
berries and more bruising.” • Drop into whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes
Costco blueberries are picked, trayed, sorted, just before turning them.
placed in recyclable clamshells, forced-air-cooled • Add to soymilk sweetened with buckwheat
and shipped within 24 to 48 hours. The blueberries honey.
are never washed, as this invites mold. And my personal favorite … nibble from a big
Farms and packaging plants are inspected by bowl while sitting on the porch. Spoon optional. C
FRESH BLUEBERRIES PROVIDE
more vitamin C, but frozen,
dried (preferably without sugar added), juiced or jammed
blueberries retain all other
nutrients equally, advises
SuperFoodie Dr. Steven Pratt.
“No matter the method, each
makes for a healthy eating
choice,” he says.
Here’s a sampling of some
of the many blueberry products periodically offered in
Fresh blueberries are sold
in containers holding up to
2.75 pounds in summer and
18 ounces in fall, winter and
spring. Some retailers would
like you to believe that winter
blueberries are extra-special,
justifying a selling price of 91
cents to $1.13 per ounce.
Don’t be fooled. In all probability, the berries are coming
from the same regions as
Costco’s berries, which are
priced at 39 to 50 cents per
For a cost-comparison
chart, visit costco.com, “
Costco magazine,” then “Buying
Smart, bonus material.”
Nature’s Three Berries is a
wonderful blend of blueberries,
raspberries and marionberries.
Kirkland Signature Bakery
• Costco’s famous blueberry muffins come in a 12-
pack with approximately 340
Michigan and/or Pacific
Northwest blues per pound.
(Variety-packs also contain
• Costco’s strawberry and
blueberry fruit tart is a cookie-style tart shell filled with custard pastry cream, sponge
cake, strawberries, blueberries
and an apricot glaze.
• Costco’s mixed-berry
pie is filled with blueberries,
strawberries and marionberries. The pie can be reheated
and even frozen.
Also look for cereals,
dried and frozen berries,
drinks, jams and other blueberry treasures.—PV