MARKET REPORT – AUG. 12TH 2016
You will now see a separate category for REBEL grade produce at the top of your list, instead of mixed into each category. There is high public demand and huge media presence on this category – people want a deal, people want to help out growers by selling their culls. At the same time there is a little resistance from our customers for one very good reason – lower value at your normal margin means lower dollars and lower sales per foot. We understand that, and we are working to create this program so you can take a higher margin and still be able to demonstrate a considerable savings for your customers who are going to expect a savings of 25% at a minimum. There is a difference between REBEL and commercial grade product. C Grade Apples are going to be nicer than REBEL.
We are trying to move product for growers at pricing they would normally get a pittance for that would end up in pet food or jam. We’re trying to increase shortly to 10 listings for REBEL produce, all bagged, and none that require a wet rack, and that can all handle a non-cooled rack. With so much of this product line related to root crops, we’re just waiting for enough of a harvest to start getting some volume of culls. This gives you the opportunity for an end-cap or rack outside the produce section or somewhere you can do your own marketing over-top of a solid display. We will leave that with you, but do not ignore this category or you will be left in the dust. This is the way large conventional supermarkets are going to break the organic price barrier – make REBEL a component to your program and be the go-to for ugly fruit and veg – and send out a memo or press release to your local paper (print and on-line) and they will gobble it up and get you some much-loved and free advertising. Just sayin’
There is a balancing act going on in Michoacan with growers not giving up much on pricing as the season moves into high gear. Instead they are choosing to lower pricing on smaller fruit to increase harvests and let larger fruit fully size up. Deals are out there on 70/84 (24/26 sizing) and we have dropped price on 22/24 to match current markets.
Gala and Mac apples are now available. Every grower we have talked to is telling us that this is going to be a great season. Washington is looking at several million more boxes than last year (conventional and organic.) What ultimately makes a good season vs. a crappy one is size. 110’s vs. 100’s is a 10% difference in crop volumes. I mention this now because we have been warned that most of the Gala crop is going to come off as large premium fruit, heavy on 70/80sizing, and bags will be limited because of a lack of small fruit.
Apricots – our last pallet arrives on the weekend and the season will be officially over.
Grapes – as mentioned a couple of times, every grape variety is ripening at a different time than they have in the past, really early or really late, and for the last two weeks a lot of them over-lapped. Not any more – expect prices to rise by Wednesday by 20% as we hit a tight market when there shouldn’t be one. Ahhh, always keeping us on our toes.
Lemons – a couple of packers have now told us that they are out until September. There is little fancy fruit and lots of choice grade, and all very spendy. This category will not see any relief for 2 months.
Mangos – A continued good supply for now on Sonora and Baja fruit with Sinaloa winding down. There is a new listing for a new variety that might warrant some interest. Baja fruit was affected by this week’s hurricane with some fruit drop and likely some anthracnose developing so we will have to wait for grower reports on how big the loss is, because that will affect pricing on a smaller set going forward.
Peaches – What can we say? Good sell-through is keeping quality at retail mouth-watering. We’re solidly into clings now. Prices are below seasonal right now. This is a definite push item.
Strawberries – perfect growing weather and nothing to pick. Plants are recovering from a valley-wide flush. We’re keeping prices in check but we don’t have a lot of volume inbound. That will change shortly.
Perfect growing weather in California and slow sales stateside are creating gluts on many items. Growers are choosing to either disc in extra fields of broccoli and leafy greens, or sell at stupid prices if they are worried about keeping their labour in place and not lose them from lack of work. A sad state of affairs either way you look at it – especially when you are losing money on every case. I guess it’s a toss-up and one of the defining factors is the $3 harvest labour plus box plus ice.
A wide price-range on greens from local growers as well, with ample supply some of them are maintaining prices to match their own volumes, and those who are selling primarily into mostly conventional markets are reducing bunch sizes to compete with a glut of local conventional greens. Pricing is your guide at this point.
Corn. Thankfully we have 3 BC growers in the mix and with hot weather forecast well into the future pricing should trickle down over the next 10 days having just seen a 10% drop over the past couple of days. BC Corn is Awesome! And we’re far enough north that evil Corn Borers can’t get into the tips because it’s too cold for them to over-winter.
This heat is also bringing on a LOT of cucumbers and zucchini –several growers are begging on a few categories – cukes being one.
And it’s holiday time: Annie and I are going pretty well as far East as you can go and still be in Canada for a couple of weeks, and we’ll stop in and visit our PEI potato growers – one of the few growers we just haven’t met up with yet.