Fresh Farms says retailers in for a treat with Mexican pumpkin crop
Halloween is fast approaching, but heavy rains caused a bit of a scare for pumpkin marketers who source from Mexico as the pumpkin crop got off to a late start. But Fresh Farms, based in Rio Rico, AZ, said the market has recovered nicely and quality is strong during this key promotional time.
According to Marco Serrano, who is in sales at Fresh Farms, the pumpkin crop was delayed by around 10 days and there was some initial concern about how quality might be affected.
“We expected some issues due to the rains, but thankfully this wasn't the case,” said Serrano. “Volumes are steady and should remain this way with no interruptions through October. And quality, surprisingly, is outstanding.”
He said the market started off strong due to the late start combined with strong demand in the West due to a heat wave that affected the crop there. But good weather throughout all growing regions brought on steady yields, and Fresh Farms expects good promotional volumes barring any further weather problems.
“We are currently growing in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora,” said Serrano. “We are in our third season and have been growing every year. We expect to grow this program yearly as the feedback from our customers has been very positive.”
While the market is currently steady and expected to remain that way through October, Serrano said the industry needs to exercise caution against allowing the market to get too high, as that would cause movement to slow down.
“We have until Oct. 18-20 to have the last pumpkins in the stores,” said Serrano.
To help support its marketing efforts, Fresh Farms has launched a carving competition through its social media platforms whereby anyone can send pictures of Fresh Farms carved pumpkins for a chance to win cash prizes. Entries must be received by Nov. 6, and winners will be announced Nov. 19. For information, visit https://mailchi.mp/e0664c72b184/fresh-farms-campaign
“Retailers will improve sales by making the customers pumpkin purchase experience fun,” said Serrano. “Carving competitions, carving stencils, in store carving — the ideas to promote pumpkins are endless!”