As weather warms across the country, stores are beginning to lure shoppers in with the promise of spring. Ads for strawberries, peaches, cantaloupes and asparagus were plentiful. Lenten favorites like chayote, lemons, and poblano peppers were advertised for meat-free meals. Some retailers had special Passover sections where apple and grape juices were featured. Easter lilies joined tulips and daffodils this week brightening up store aisles and ad flyers alike.
Total ad numbers this week were 278,546, a 5% decrease from last week's 294,464. The total for the same week last year was 8% higher than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 144,114 (52% of all ads), onions and potatoes 17,722 (6%), vegetables 113,904 (41%), herbs 600, ornamentals 2,206, and hemp 751. The number of ads for organic produce was 36,194, 13% 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 this week included white seedless grapes at 31%, mangos at 25%, cantaloupes at 24%, and apple juice at 14%. There were no significant decreases. There were no significant changes in price for onions and potatoes this week. Significant increases for vegetables this week included asparagus at 27%, broccoli crowns at 20%, and bell peppers (yellow at 15%, red at 13%, and orange at 10%). There were no significant decreases.