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Market Minute: Volatile strawberry market with an active retail demand

By
Ron Pelger

Don’t you just hate the middle of winter, especially when there are so many storms and days with freezing temperatures? And when those temperatures fall across the winter desert farming areas, it causes delays in harvests and shipping to retail distribution centers. That puts a strain on retail produce directors in planning their ad programs.berry isplay

It looks like this recent cold arctic air mass worked its way down into the Southeast and northern tip of Florida. We can only hope it doesn’t move lower into the warmer farm areas, especially reaching into the strawberry crops. Retailers depend on Florida strawberries at this time and into the spring season.

Florida experienced some rainfall, which delayed production, and there are lighter strawberry supplies from California and Florida. The retail demand has placed a constraint on Mexican berries. This demand has suppliers scurrying to secure sufficient berries for retail customers.

This situation will last at least until the weather improves and more volume is available. In the meantime, the markets will remain steadily higher.

It is advised that you plan any promotions very carefully with your individual supplier in order to ensure the quantities needed.

Strawberry Merchandising: Start to set up a permanent strawberry display at the foot of your produce department entrance. It should be placed in that location through the spring season or longer. Be sure to include all other berries for an attractive eye-catching display.

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].

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