Market Minute: Volatile market on berries and grapes
Two of the major produce categories that generate high volume sales in the produce department are currently going through a delicate market condition.
In California, the Santa Maria region is experiencing some cooler temperatures causing less strawberry ripening. The product supplies in the Salinas/Watsonville regions are diminishing.
The California grape scene has had its challenges as well after Hurricane Hilary raged through the vineyards and damaged a substantial amount of table grapes. This has created a lighter supply and will cause a gap around the end of the year through January. Let’s hope Peru and Chile can supply grapes earlier depending on any weather burdens or shipping obstacles.
- Strawberries: Demand exceeds the supplies out of the San Joaquin Valley. Salinas and Watsonville market is lighter and steady with good quality.
- Raspberry supply is picking up.
- Blackberries are starting to lighten.
- Blueberry demand exceeds the supplies out of Peru on a steady market.
There are crossings of Mexican raspberries through Arizona, California and Texas. Demand is fairly good. The market is steady.
Merchandising: Since grapes generate high volume and there will be that open gap at the end of the year into January, it would be wise to plan ahead. Start by reviewing your ads and movement during that period from last year to calculate your sales. Then figure out how you will make up those grape sales by substituting other items. It will be a task to fill in the grape sales interval without a smart plan.
Get in a couple more good grape and strawberry ad promotions now while you can. Work with your suppliers to also see what they may have available down the road to help take the edge off of losing any grape sales during December and January.
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].