September, in many ways, is a transition month. Some days may feel like a gift of an extended summer while others make you all too aware that winter is just around the corner. The same is true for produce: this past Tuesday, our retail visits saw a dwindling of the summer favorites such as peaches, pears & watermelons; transitions in product origin; and the introduction of some Fall favorites.  Here’s what stood out in the stores this month:

pumpkin-1097255-mPumpkins – the October vegetable. Many stores had noticeable volumes of mini (also known as ornamental) and large pumpkins. Rains have cut into volumes in some growing areas, and delayed harvest in others. However, quality is noted as excellent and experts say that the forecast for October is favorable. Movement to stores is noted as extremely good, with the primary shipping area being VA; TX began harvesting last week with the crop noted as good.

pearPears – the noticeable shift on the shelves was back to domestic product. Anjou, Bosc and Bartlett varieties are all originating out of BC, WA, or CA. Volumes and sizes look good at the store level. Experts note that while CA still has a few Bartlett pears, supplies are light and most remaining supplies at shippers are in the 80 and 90 sizes. WA Bartletts are steady and still peaking at US #1 quality in the 100/110 sizes. Anjou’s are coming mostly out of WA at a steady pace, but carton prices are a bit lower than Bartletts. Bosc pears are lighting up volume-wise out of CA, while WA shows good availability.

avocado cropAvocados – all local stores had product originating from Mexico. CA season is winding down, and most product is probably not reaching the Canadian market. Experts note that CA’s crop will be over in the next couple of weeks. While Mexico is in a transition of its own (from the Flor Loca crop to their New Crop), volumes are still great. One thing to keep in mind for both produce department marketing and for consumers is that the New Crop will take longer to ripen and has a tendency to remain green when ripe and ready to eat. The New Crop avocados also have a thicker skin which makes is harder to detect the degree of ripeness. Expect to see more volumes crossing from Mexico in the coming weeks.

Month after month, our market research gives us an on-the-ground view of what is happening in the industry. And, the only thing that remains consistent throughout the visits, is.. in short, nothing. And that is why we do them; to ensure we stay on top of changes in buying patterns and introductions of new crops, to be able to better assist our customers with their operations and anticipate any shifts in truck capacity needs. Contact us today to discuss further and check back next month!

Retail Visit Review: Looking ahead to October was last modified: by