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More competition every year in US shallot market

Suppliers of shallots in the United States are currently sourcing the product through imports as well as domestic storage. Supply levels are steady and demand is also unchanged. However, the market remains low. Suppliers said the number of growers supplying the market continues to increase, which is resulting in more competition.

"Shallots are currently being sold out of storage in North America, from the Pacific Northwest to eastern Canada," said Cary Rosenthal of Gourmet Specialty Imports. "We also import them from France and other parts of Europe. Supply is currently good from both sources and we have also seen steady demand. Markets, however, are a little depressed right now. There is a lot of competition on the grower's end which is leading to a weak market."

3oz retails pack of fresh shallots (left), and 1 gallon jar (right)

'Pie not getting any bigger'
Shallots have always been a niche item. They also have their place and demand for them continues to be steady. However, there has been an increase in the number of people growing them, which is leading to tighter margins for growers.

"Shallots used to be a specialty item," Rosenthal noted. "Traditionally, there was a tight fraternity of growers alongside a tight-knit group of suppliers. Over the last 5 - 10 years, the number of growers has increased substantially, while demand has plateaued. People are still buying them and there is a steady market for shallots, it's just that there won't be any more demand than it has been. In essence, the pie is not getting any bigger, but the pieces are getting smaller."

Gourmet Specialty Imports enjoys a steady market, where they supply shallots in jars, as well as fresh for both foodservice and retail. "We peel and pack them in 1 gallon jars. We also offer fresh shallots in 5lb - 10lb bags and have also introduced a 3oz retail pack."

For more information:
Cary Rosenthal
Gourmet Specialty Imports
Tel: +1 (610) 345-1113

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