National Retail Report - specialty crops

Abundance of fruit advertised this week, from citrus like lemons, tangerines, and oranges to berries

Spring is almost here, and retailers are hurrying it along with an abundance of favorite foods and holiday supplies. Mushrooms, asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, and cucumbers were featured for healthy eating and delicious Lenten meatless meals. An abundance of fruit was advertised this week, from citrus-like lemons, tangerines, and oranges to berries to summer-time fruits like cantaloupe, peaches, and nectarines.

Stores displayed merchandise for Saint Patrick's Day and Easter celebrations. Total ad numbers this week were 279,253, an 8% decrease from last week's total of 302,977. The total for the same week last year was 1% higher than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 144,852 (52% of all ads), onions and potatoes 23,791 (9%), vegetables 105,623 (38%), herbs 1,596, ornamentals 3,035, and hemp 356. The number of ads for organic produce was 42,134, 15% 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 lemons (2 lb. bag) at 19%, Pink Lady apples at 19%, Navel oranges (3 lb. bag) at 16%, and strawberries (1 lb.) at 13%. Significant decreases included only avocados at 19%. There were no significant changes in price this week for potatoes and onions. Significant increases in price for vegetables this week included cucumbers at 53%, packaged salad (10-12 oz. at 22%, 5-9 oz at 12%), asparagus at 14%, and zucchini at 10%. There were no significant decreases.

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