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Market Minute: Lettuce, pepper, tomato supplies improving

By
Ron Pelger

In spite of all the problems we've had with COVID-19, weather and inflation, I still see fully stocked and attractive produce departments in all of my visits to the stores. This is attributed to how well every level in our industry operates. From the growers to the produce managers, the product always gets through to the consumers.lettuce display

Although there are still weather interruptions in many growing areas, especially with the continuous West Coast rain, there are some brighter spots for the supply level. Many crops were behind in growth due to inclement weather, but some key markets are gaining strength as production is starting to reach improved levels.

Lettuce: Demand is light on a steady market. The volume and pricing trend has improved. Leaf lettuce has better weights and the quality is excellent. Romaine is now reaching its usual volume level. Iceberg heads are larger and more solid. Promotions will show consumers favorable pricing again.

Tomatoes: Demand moderate on a much lower market. More production is starting to enter the supply system as production is ramping up out of Mexico and Florida. This should lower pricing as more volume enters the markets.

Bell Peppers: Demand good and market is steady. Greater crossings of green Bells are being shipped out of Mexico. Production is trending upward on volume and downward on pricing. Red Bell peppers are improving in volume as well.

These three popular items are moving in an ideal direction toward combination promotions. Volume has been light over the weeks with higher prices and consumer purchasing resistance. So now is the time to promote these three to give your customers more reason to shop your produce departments.

Plan a nice combo ad with your suppliers and build back the sales with aggressive promotions again.

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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