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Vegetable noodles speed up consumption of butternut squash
“Supply is steady currently and on par with a year ago,” says Todd Hirasuna of Selma, Ca.-based Sunnyside Packing Company. Butternut squash is coming in from Mexico, the Honduras and possibly the Dominican Republic right now. “And competition is from Nogales, AZ. - they’re driving the ship for sales and distribution,” says Hirasuna. “The same Mexican-produced product is being distributed out of McAllen, TX as well.”
Meanwhile demand for the vegetable, which Sunnyside sees coming from all over North America, is also steady. “Prices have increased slightly recently—that’s improved from a few weeks ago,” he says. “It’s probably on par with last year at this time.”
On the financial side, the challenge—like many growers have noted—is on the transportation side. “From a marketing standpoint, the biggest challenge is primarily the cost of freight, especially recently,” Hirasuna says. “Cross-country loads were demand as much as $10,000 going East recently. So once you add that to the cost of the product, it was too many for many people to swallow.”
And that can be especially challenging given the uptick in popularity the vegetable is seeing. “Consumption seems to have increased incrementally over the years with some new products--vegetable noodles mostly—that are possibly speeding up consumption going forward,” says Hirasuna. While the vegetable noodles are the newer product players on the market, it’s added to other forms of pre-packaged options that exist already such as cubed squash.
For more information:
Sunnyside Packing Company
+1 559 896 7200
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