I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance recently. She and her husband have been researching growing aronia berries (chokeberries). You may have come across ads online for products containing the acai berry (just don’t ask me how to pronounce “acai”). The ads typically tout weight-loss or anti-aging properties due to the antioxidant capacity. I did a little research and it does sound as though the acai berry is at least as healthy for you as other berries (cranberry, blackberry, etc.), but the jury appears to be out as far as specific health benefits a person would receive from consuming a product derived from the acai berry (a common product being juice).
The reality is that people do all kinds of things in the name of health and it doesn’t always matter to them if the benefits being touted have been proven. If people buy the juice, as long as it’s not harmful then it’s worth looking at as a possible investment.
I was told that aronia berries have properties (high antioxidant capacity, etc.) similar to acai, but that the aronia shrub is native to North America (doesn’t like the climate to be too hot). They are supposedly a hearty shrub, reasonably low-maintenance and I was told it takes about three years for them to begin producing berries that can be picked and sold. She went on to say that the demand for these berries currently outpaces the supply. The husband has a source for the small shrubs that they’ll plant and they are currently looking for about 20 acres suitable for the shrubs.
There are some associations that are starting to form and meeting. You may want to visit the websites of some of the associations like the Midwest Aronia Association or others to learn more. If you have more to add regarding investing in aronia berries (we’re not going to get into the specific health benefits), please share them below so that we can all learn together.