Blueberrytree Street? The Blueberry Drop? Well ...
It seems that blueberries have overtaken peaches, the state's signature fruit, in revenue among agricultural products, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Since 2008, the berry has brought home more money than its fuzzy cousin, $133 million in 2010, vs. $47 million for peaches, according to University of Georgia data. Part of the reason is a focus on healthier foods.
Should Georgia rename itself the Blueberry State? Share your thoughts.
“Georgia law says the peach is what we’re known for, but it’s good to have some diversity when it comes to the agricultural economy,” said Gary Black, the state’s agriculture commissioner. “They are providing a good income and land utilization for a lot of our growers.”
A decade ago, Georgia tallied 8,000 acres of blueberries. Now, it has more than 19,000, the AJC noted. Peach acres dropped from 16,000 to 12,000 during that period. Georgia is now the No. 3 blueberry-producing state, after Michigan and Oregon.
Even McDonald’s established a "supplier facility" in Manor last year to directly source ready-to-eat blueberries for its oatmeal, a spokeswoman said.
However, Ken Bernhardt, a marketing professor at Georgia State University, agrees that the peach is in no danger of losing its prized perch in Georgia history and lore.
"If we're No. 1 in peoples' minds, that's what counts. And that's the brand we should keep," he said. "Perception is reality."