Harvest Sensations expects ‘normal’ fall asparagus volume
Cold weather in Peru impacted the summer shipments of asparagus for Miami-based Harvest Sensations, but the company is anticipating a return to normal volume for the remainer of this year.
“Our volume had increased until the end of June and then decresed due to extremely cold weather in Peru, but now the volumes should be back to normal until the end of the year,” said Enrique Vignolo, Miami sales manager. “Volumes should be similar to last year’s numbers, as we put Covid behind us. October and November will be the peak of the season with promotional volumes available. We typically see volume at the end of September through the first week in December. Promotions should start the first two weeks in October through Thanksgiving.”
He explained that from the end of June until the beginning of September, volumes were down. But Vignolo rerported that no weather issues are expected for the next several months. “The only delays we might see are logistic delays with space on vessels during peak periods,” he said.
Tony Pinto, Harvest Sensation’s Miami director of sourcing and procurement, revealed that 95 percent of the company’s imports will come by sea due to lower costs. Since Covid, he said, freight costs have increased: “We use some air but mostly sea; however, everything depends on market conditions.”
Pinto added that lack of freighter competition is a challenge. “One of the biggest issues during the Peruvian asparagus season is that there is only one sea shipping company to the U.S.,” he said. “This company has 99 percent of the market and there is no space to ship additional containers. Air freight adds a high cost, which makes it harder to bring air product at competitive prices. Freight cost during the holidays has increased significantly.”
Pinto said this fall period is the perfect time to promote Peruvian asparagus. “Asparagus should be a promoted item during the peak of its season. It is a very demanded commodity in the U.S., especially during the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.”
Harvest Seasations would like to see better marketing campaigns via point-of-sale material to increase sales on asparagus. However, the company concentrates its sales to the foodservice sector.
Vignolo said that over the past year Harvest Sensations has strengthened its sales team by bringing some experienced sales associates on board.