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Market Minute: Lettuce getting tight in midst of transition

By
Ron Pelger

The summer lettuce crop in Salinas, CA, usually lasts until late fall. Then the winter season transitional phase moves south to Arizona where the warmer conditions grow a new crop. The program cycles again back up to Salinas in the spring transition where the lettuce crop is replenished. This allows lettuce to be a year-round supply for the produce departments and consumers. The current lettuce market is getting tight during the transitional period from Arizona to California.

lettuceIceberg lettuce demand is good with tight supplies causing elevated prices. Green and red leaf lettuce is steady but in lighter supply which may continue. Romaine lettuce and hearts are remaining active with a firm market.

Other Markets:
Strawberries are decelerating from Florida and Mexico while California is increasing steadily. The quality is outstanding as usual — great for promotions.

There is a steady supply of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with good color. Chile is finishing up on blueberries while Florida has started harvesting.

Demand exceeds supply on grapes but will start to improve when harvesting starts in Mexico then moves to California.

The asparagus market has slowed to much lower prices forcing growers to hold back. The market is rising due to this impact.

Time is moving at a fast speed so get ready for summer fruit.

Cherries out of California will start by the middle of April. Peaches and nectarines will follow by the end of April. It looks like the crop will be excellent this season for some great promotions.

Stay close to the information your suppliers can offer on these and other items. Start planning some promotions in advance based on your network of suppliers.

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