National Retail Report - specialty crops

Retailers prepared enthusiastically for Cinco de Mayo last week

Retailers prepared enthusiastically for the Cinco de Mayo fiesta rush this week. Avocados, sweet onions, cilantro, mangoes, pineapples, jalapenos, tomatoes, corn, tomatoes, limes, cucumbers, and watermelons were very well promoted and were often featured together in special sections. The Kentucky Derby was also celebrated in ads, with promotions on strawberries, mint, roses, and fruit and vegetable trays. With Mother's Day a little over a week away, floral departments advertised their flower arrangements and potted plant offerings along with other gift ideas.

Total ad numbers this week were 252,964, a 2% decrease from last week's total of 258,500. The total for the same week last year was 6% higher than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 127,128 (50% of all ads), onions and potatoes 23,086 (9%), vegetables 93,133 (37%), herbs 4,034, ornamentals 3,647, and hemp 1,936. The number of ads for organic produce was 33,727, 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 strawberries (1 lb.) at 30% and organic avocados at 12%. Significant decreases included conventional avocados at 36%, limes (ea.) at 18%, tangerines (3 lb. bag) at 17%, and blueberries (1 pint) at 15%. There were no significant increases or decreases in the price of onions and potatoes this week. Significant increases in price for vegetables this week included cilantro at 25% and long seedless cucumbers at 13%.

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