Market Minute: Berry market conditions are in a normal adjustment phase
California was hit with rain in the northern berry regions, which has impacted production. This could temporarily slow some strawberry promotions. Although rain is welcomed and definitely needed for crops, it can also disrupt the harvesting and packing process. But the rain is very helpful at this time, especially in California where the serious drought has had a foothold in place.
Strawberries: The volume will be lighter and the fruit size a bit smaller. Besides the rain and heat delay, the plants have reached a point where they need to replenish rendered by all the extensive ad promotions. The volume will be lighter through August until September.
Blueberries: Markets are mostly steady with volume available from various areas of Oregon, Washington, Michigan, New Jersey and Canada. Demand is fairly light in areas. Good time to promote.
Raspberries: Light volume at this time and for a couple of weeks until the Mexican supply ramps up. California raspberries are on a downward trend. Product out of British Columbia and the Quebec area will see peaks by the end of the month.
Blackberries: California is entering its peak of blackberry supply and will be steady all through August. Market is steady with good demand. Quality is very good along with large sized berries. Promote them now.
Merchandising: Regardless of the diverse markets, berries are still available and most all stores are continuing to maintain their displays. Weather, crops, and seasonal changes always occur in the produce business. But your selling approach should never change. Continue to display and promote berries throughout the entire year.
Check with your strawberry suppliers for more availability, quality and condition update information before committing on ads.
Ron Pelger is a produce industry adviser and industry writer. He can be contacted at 775-843-2394 or by e-mail at [email protected].