National Retail Report - specialty crops

This week, late summer cantaloupes, stone fruits, honeydews, cucumbers and grapes were plentiful

This week retailers offered the best of both worlds on the cusp of a new season. Ripe late summer cantaloupes, stone fruits, honeydews, cucumbers, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and grapes were plentiful, many grown locally. The first pumpkins arrived in stores, joining the new crops, hard squash, pears, and apples to signal the beginning of autumn. September brings the last of the students back to the classroom, and stores were ready with school supplies and lunchtime snacks like clementines, grape tomatoes, and baby carrots. Many retailers offered extra-long weekend sales for Labor Day, featuring steaks, burgers, grill-friendly produce, and deli items.

Total ad numbers this week were 285,576, a 2% increase from last week's 280,730. The total for the same week last year was 11% higher than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 164,037 (57% of all ads), onions and potatoes 15,346 (5%), vegetables 103,014 (36%), herbs 492, ornamentals 1,615, and hemp 1,012. The number of ads for organic produce was 38,080, 13% of total ads.

The following are the prices of major advertised items (3,000 plus ads) this week, compared to the same week last year. Significant increases in price for fruit this week included plums at 41%, nectarines (yellow at 26%, white at 10%), seedless watermelons at 23%, avocados at 22%, peaches at 19%, black seedless grapes at 14%, tangerines at 12%, and cantaloupes at 10%. There were no significant decreases. There were no significant changes in price for onions and potatoes this week. Significant increases in price for vegetables this week included corn at 45% and zucchini at 19%. The only significant decrease was for oranges at 11%.

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