Reuters reports that demand for the Hungarian elderberry has soared as US and Chinese buyers snap up supplies. They are attracted by the fruit’s purported health benefits as a supplement to boost the immune system.
Elderberries have long been used in traditional medicines in Hungary and farmers have harvested wild clumps.
But before the coronavirus pandemic, 90 per cent of the country’s crop was sold to the food industry for use as red food colouring in ice cream, jam or candies. Only the remaining 10 per cent was used in health products.
Now elderberries have become a precious commodity, and prices have soared.