Domestic herb supplies are good coming out of the South and Southeastern U.S. “We are also transitioning now into New Jersey and will probably start harvesting in New Jersey this week,” says Bill Nardelli Sr. of Nardelli Brothers. “It looks like there are more conducive weather conditions toward the end of the week with some warmth coming, so that will accentuate the growing of most of these herbs, and we’ll start to see things pop.”
A field of cilantro and dill in New Jersey.
The New Jersey start is slightly earlier this year, thanks in part to a relatively mild winter. “The weather conditions have been warmer than normal, and we’ve had the proper amounts of rain, so we’ve had a pretty good start to the spring here,” says Nardelli, noting that production will stay in the state until possibly even early December as it did last year. “Thanksgiving is normally a big push for us volume-wise, and then we taper in December and transition into Georgia and Florida.”
As for demand, it looks good, and Nardelli notes that the packaged herb business particularly continues to get stronger. At this time of year, herbs such as cilantro see stronger demand, especially with Cinco de Mayo less than a month away.
That said, all eyes are on the economy. “People are prioritizing their purchases. The way the economy is, money is a concern for most people,” he says, noting there is a price point for herbs, after which consumers opt to go without them. “However, Spring and warmer weather bring good consumption also. People have outdoor cookouts in mind and are ready to enjoy the warmer weather, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast.”
Nardelli promotes its Fresher by Miles concept. “As consumers get more educated, the fresher the herb they can get, the more they like it,” says Nardelli.
Nardelli Brothers’ location in New Jersey also poises the company to continue to promote its Fresher by Miles concept. “With herbs, it’s very critical, and being so close here to the major populations, we’re able to offer fresh herbs in practically overnight delivery,” says Nardelli. “As consumers get more educated, the fresher the herb they can get, the more they like it.”
As for pricing, increased input costs are a factor in pricing. “We’re constantly fighting being able to pass that along to consumers. You need to pass it on to a certain degree, but you also need to keep pricing at an attainable level so that they will still purchase,” says Nardelli.
For more information:
Bill Nardelli Sr.
Tel.: +1 (856) 447-4000