The United States is the primary market for fresh asparagus from Peru and over the years Peru’s asparagus exports to the United States have increased. Priscilla Lleras-Bush, coordinator of the Peruvian Asparagus Importers’ Association, shares: “You can see the per capita consumption has steadily increased every year. Asparagus is such a healthy vegetable and dedicated consumers are seeing the nutritional benefits. Many other consumers are also buying asparagus to bring variety to their meal planning.”
18% import increase from 2016 to 2019
The US is supplied with asparagus by multiple origins, including its own domestic production. The main origins supplying the US are Peru, Mexico, and Canada. “The different seasons are very much complementary to each other,” says Lleras-Bush. “There is room for everyone on the market, too, because retailers want to be able to shelve fresh asparagus 365 days of the year for their shoppers.” Walter Yager, CEO of Alpine Fresh, Miami, Florida, and Co-Chairman of PAIA agrees, adding: “US retailers have recognized the advantages of stocking Peruvian asparagus on their shelves which have resulted in maintaining fresh asparagus sales year-round.”
In their recently released 2019/2020 Fresh Asparagus Statistics, Trends and Demographics Report, PAIA shows that the US imports of fresh asparagus volumes have increased by 18% from 2016 to 2019. “According to the USDA, Foreign Trade Statistics data recorded in 2019, the United States imported more than 572 million pounds of fresh-market asparagus, which equates to a 4.1 million-pound import increase from 2018 to 2019,” Lleras-Bush shares.
Room for expansion
The US domestic season starts around March and goes through June. “There are always windows for imported product to supply the US retailers with excellent quality imported fresh asparagus. There have been some shifts from fresh to processing for the US domestic production, and the domestically grown asparagus has also been exposed to higher labor costs, which has helped to grow the imports too. Of course, there is also still more room for expansion of the US market,” Lleras-Bush explains.
PAIA works to help increase sales and consumption of asparagus in the United States. Their Fresh Asparagus report is part of this, Lleras-Bush shares. “The report is essential information for retailers to increase their sales of fresh asparagus for today and the remainder of the year. In 2020, the association will focus even greater efforts on spreading the positive word concerning the benefits of fresh asparagus. We anticipate increasing consumption and demand for fresh asparagus in 2020,” she concludes.
To stay on top of the news and information from the fresh asparagus industry, contact Priscilla Lleras-Bush or feel free to visit association website at www.peruvianasparagusimportersassociation.com