Market Minute: Tomato supply decreasing, grape gap
I was shopping at the grocery store and wanted some grapes. Not seeing any, I remembered the decreased supplies. So I asked my friendly produce manager if he had any. He told me there were none available and that I probably already knew that. He was correct, but I just wanted to confirm that the stores were unable to get supplies. I checked three other stores and there were no grapes in those produce departments either.
Seedless Grapes: There is an extreme shortage of grapes currently for the U.S. markets. The Mexican crop is behind schedule, which has caused a supply gap. Grapes will be very tight through the rest of May. Plan your promotions for June when the new crop supplies are available.
Tomatoes are seeing a good demand in a steady market. The supply is tightening up and prices are starting to elevate. Small sizes are slightly sparse. The 5x6 size is at a peak. The Florida tomato supply is tightening up as a transition to other areas will shortly take place. Mexican tomatoes show good quality as they are filling orders along with reasonable markets. There is a good supply of Mexican Romas, grape and medley snacking tomatoes.
Transitioning from growing area to growing area usually creates temporary gaps in the supply chain. This is where you need to keep close communication with buyers and your suppliers. Plan all promotions carefully by keeping up on the markets daily.
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].