"Our Produce Newsletter includes details from our daily conversations with local farmers, and the latest market observations. "
MARKET UPDATE 4/4/17
MAJOR ALERT- PLEASE READ: To cut to the chase here: There are a number of basic items that are at record scarcity levels and are changing price daily with no warning. Quality is also very problematic. They are the following:
DUE TO SCARCITY ISSUES, WE ARE NOT ABLE TO ACCEPT RETURNS ON THE ITEMS ABOVE. PLEASE TAKE THIS INTO CAREFUL CONSIDERATION BEFORE YOU ORDER. ALL OF THESE ITEMS HAVE BEEN UNDERWATER FOR PROLONGED PERIODS OF TIME, WHICH BREAKS DOWN CELL STRUCTURES. THEY WILL HAVE QUALITY ISSUES AND THEY WILL NOT LAST. We will be in this situation through the month of April and possibly into May.
How Did We Get Here?!
As mentioned in previous emails, the Northern growing areas: Salinas, Santa Maria, and Huron got repeated rain while they were trying to plant their seedlings to be ready to harvest in March/April. On at least 3 occasions, rain wiped everything out and they have had to re-plant several times. They are now very late in the harvest period and are JUST getting started. There is nothing left from Yuma because heat closed their season early. This is the worst gap we have faced in over a decade. We have had shortages before, but never on as many items at one time. EVERYONE in the produce industry is in the same situation.
Substitution Suggestions to save money:
Lettuces and Romaine Hearts: Use spring mix, arugula, spinach (baby and cello), mustard greens, artisan lettuce, baby gem lettuce, kale, green leaf crowns, chopped or diced salad mixes (in our pre-cut section).
Avocados: Use 60ct gg label. There is a $14 difference between 60ct and 48ct. Cauliflower and Broccoli Crowns: Use asparagus, blue lake beans, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, yellow squash. Or, use frozen if you can. We also have florettes for both- but very limited quantities
Bells: Green bells are still much less expensive than red and yellow.
Berries: The best deals are blackberries and strawberries
Cherry Tomatoes: Use grape instead
Garlic: Use #1 rather than #2 .
Lemons: 115 ct are at least $7 less per case than 140.
Limes: Use smaller sizes- like 200ct. They are much less than the larger 110ct.
Lettuces and Romaine Hearts: All are extraordinarily high in price. All may have quality issues and will have VERY short shelf lives. AVOID.
Avocados: 60ct have been stable, but 48ct have gone up in price.
Berries: Try to avoid blueberries and raspberries.
Broccoli Crowns, Broccoli Rabe, Broccolini: AVOID. Use suggested substitutions.
Cabbage Napa: Very scarce and high in price.
Cipollini peeled onions: Incredibly expensive this week. Labor shortages are an issue
Corn: White corn has gone up in price.
Flowering Kale: Very high in price. Avoid.
Garlic (Chinese): Still very high in price. Harvesting and shipping has slowed down dramatically due to the Chinese New Year. We will be stocking #1 as well. This will be less expensive.
Grapes (green and red): Chilean supplies slowing down. We are waiting for CA season to start in May.
Kennebec Potatoes: Transitioning with quality issues (i.e. they SMELL). We face this every year at this time.
Okra: Up in price this week.
Red Spring Onions: Just starting their season– very high prices this week.
Rhubarb: Very expensive right now. Hot house coming into stock.
Shishito Peppers: Still very high in price
Apples (esp. red delicious and granny smith)
Beans (especially blue lake): Very good prices right now
Bells: Good deals on green.
Brussels sprouts: Very good deal.
Cabbages (except for Napa)
Eggs: Prices steady. Will start to increase as we approach Easter.
Eggplant/Conventional: Prices rising, but still a great deal.
Grapefruit: Prices steady. All supplies now coming from CA
Hearty Greens (Kale, collards, chards): Good deals and great salad alternatives to the lettuces.
Lemons: 115ct especially
Melons: Good deals on both cantaloupes and honey dews.
Oranges: MX juicing oranges and navels are the best deal right now.
Onions: great deal.
Potatoes: Great deal- up slightly.
Strawberries and blackberries: The best deals among the berries.
Spinach, Spring mix, Arugulas: All great deals
Tomatoes: All very reasonable (except for cherry)
Soft Squashes: Both zucchini and yellow squash have come down considerably.
Hard squashes (especially butternut): Still a good deal.