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Retail Visit Review – What’s in the Produce Aisles at the End of October

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Tuesday’s retail visit out to the local stores didn’t reveal anything too out of the ordinary for this time of year. We are still seeing product transitions, with some stores stocking local product and some switching to imports. Here’s what was of particular interest this month:

Avocadoes – presently supplying 95% of the product in North American stores, Mexico is the clear market leader at this time of year. For the 2013-14 season, Mexico shipped more than 1 billion pounds into the US alone, and they are expecting an increase in volume for the upcoming year by 10-15%. The predominant sizes in the market are in the 60-70s range, with 40s and larger being more difficult to find. We did however, find some larger fruit in one store, marketed as “jumbo” – check it out in comparison to a more “regular” sized avocado:

avocado - jumbo vs. reg

Cucumbers – there seems to be a gap in the market, between locally grown hot house and product from Mexico. Experts note that production from Sonora is picking up, but there are some issues with quality. Production in the Baja area has also been affected by storm damage. The market is being supplemented in some stores by product from Spain. In other stores, there is a visible lack of product all together or a smaller stock being sold for a higher price.

Cucumber

Tomatoes – this is a real mixed bag at the moment. Some stores are still stocking local product, some product from California, and a few are even getting product in from Mexico. Experts do note that California is expected to finish up this week; fall crops are beginning to be harvested out of the Baja; the domestic market in Mexico is weakening which is allowing more tomatoes to cross into the US at prices that are lower than the past couple of weeks. Mexico crossings through Texas continues to have a consistent supply with good quality, and it is peak production time in this area, so we should see lots more Mexican product hitting the shelves in the coming weeks.

tomato

 

So, that’s the  on-the-ground view of what is happening in the industry at the end of October. Remember, contact us today if you want to discuss any changes to buying patterns, introduction of new crops, and how we can help you with your operations and shifts in truck capacity.

We wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween! Don’t forget, daylight savings ends on Saturday at 2am, switch your clocks back 1 hour!

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