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Garlic continuing to sell well in 2021

By
Keith Loria

Garlic was a must-have product during the pandemic. As the rise of in-home dining and amateur chefs popped up consumers cooked with garlic like never before.

Grocery stores saw garlic demand reach record highs, and some found it hard to keep in stock, even as prices continued to rise. The rise in sales created a shortage of aromatic garlic bulbs at the supermarket and saw prices of both jumbo-size and conventional jumbo 30-pound carton of white garlic more than double in price.

Now that most foodservice business is back, garlic continues to be in-demand, though at slightly less cost than the almost-historic prices of last summer.

It’s easy to understand why garlic was so in demand. Many chefs agree that it’s the perfect complement to many recipes, and can be used for everything from transforming an ordinary loaf of bread into something people will clamor for, to dressing up a salad or adding a little extra zest to a roast.

Health experts also promote garlic as a super food, touting its ability to improve overall cardiovascular health.

Bruce Klein, director of marketing for the Secaucus, NJ-based Maurice A. Auerbach, Inc., said he’s heard more consumers talk about the health benefits of garlic in recent years, and the company markets its garlic for healthy eating.

This isn’t a new phenomenon as garlic has been a big player in food for centuries. The earliest known varieties began in the Central Asia and Northeastern Iran regions thanks to a rich topography and soil. Soon, it spread far and wide including to the Ancient Egyptians. Soon, it was passed down throughout the ages to become the common seasoning ingredient worldwide that it is today.

Last year’s crop was shorted by some heavy rains in Spain, but those issues didn’t reoccur for 2021 and there was plenty of garlic being imported to the United States. Also last year, there was more peeled garlic available since that was primarily used by the foodservice sector. With restaurants now open, that isn’t the case anymore either.

 Fall is a big season for garlic sales and retailers have done well by merchandising properly. Halloween is said to be the garlic holiday, as it’s associated with keeping evil spirits and vampires away.

Of course, garlic is good any time and sales continue to increase annually as the industry is enjoying a prosperous season.

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