National Retail Report - Specialty Crops

US retailers focus on health and organics this week

This week, US retailers took multiple tacks to attract shoppers. Dia de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) was promoted with avocados, Roma tomatoes, onions, and pineapples. Shoppers with New Years resolutions to eat healthier found what they were looking for; salad, cucumbers, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, and spinach were on hand for salads, juicing, and making veggie noodles.

The number of organic ads increased by 3% as retailers hoped to meet customer demand. Some stores recognized the return to school after break, featuring favorite snacks like clementines, oranges, apples, and grapes.

Total ad numbers this week were 364,682, a 7% increase from last weeks 339,508. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 193,700 (53% of all ads), onions and potatoes 20,864 (6%), vegetables 147,769 (41%), herbs 795 and ornamentals 1,554. The number of ads for organic produce was 54,962, 15% of total ads.
The following are the prices of major advertised items (3,000 plus stores) this week, compared to the same week last year. Significant increases in price for fruit items this week included limes at 50%, Navel oranges (4 lb) at 45%, blackberries at 23%, and blueberries at 16%.

Significant decreases included clementines at 17%, Honeycrisp apples at 16%, cantaloupes at 13%, and Navel oranges (3 lb) at 11%.

There were no significant changes in price for onions and potatoes this week. Significant increases for vegetables this week included only cucumbers at 44%.

Significant decreases for vegetables included grape tomatoes at 22%, zucchini at 19%, bell peppers (orange at 17%, yellow at 16%), yellow squash at 15%, and baby-cut carrots at 13%.

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