What are the current opportunities for elderberry growers?

The European elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is grown as a commercial fruit crop in Europe and elsewhere. In contrast to Europe, elderberry is neither well known nor widely utilized in the U.S. To date, but recent market research at the University of Missouri demonstrated that the elderberry industry has high growth potential and is presently dominated by small scale producers.

According to the University of Missouri, commercial production of elderberry appears to be most profitable in Missouri due to the state having the best habitats for yielding the strongest elderberry crop results. Existing elderberry producers have focused on their efforts on introducing elderberry and its uses to consumers in an attempt to create awareness about the products and the industry. The industry is vertically integrated in the sense that most players participate in multiple stages of the value chain. This means that most small producers propagate their own plants, grow elderberry, and produce some value-added products (wine, juice or jelly).

Our goal is continue creating awareness and getting more farmers on board to be small producers of elderberry before it is becomes a mass produced product. Fortunately for the small and local farmers out there, elderberry has been shown to only have strong success in midwestern states, which gives us an opportunity to develop the market first.


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