US: Supplies of cauliflower likely to remain extremely tight

Supplies of cauliflower are extremely short right now in the US. The weather has been too cool to encourage any significant growth and therefore production has not kept up with demand. Contributing to this is the varieties that are being grown, as growers say there was warmer weather earlier in the year when winter varieties were still in the ground. 

"There is a very short supply of cauliflower right now," explained Bob Cordova of Western Pacific Produce. "It's a combination of weather and varietal transition. Cauliflower needs warmer nights to grow well and the growing regions of Santa Maria and Salinas are just not experiencing that right now. There is plenty of product in the ground, but it's simply not growing at the moment."

As a result, prices are higher than usual and supplier expect this to continue for the next few weeks until temperatures rise. "Cauliflower prices fluctuate throughout the year, but right now they are unseasonably high," Cordova noted. "Prices are sitting anywhere between $24.00 - $32.00. That is for a number 12 size shipped out of California."

Cauliflower demand rising thanks to value-added products
The demand for cauliflower has been rising in recent years. Part of the reason is that it has been designated as a 'superfood', which attracts consumers looking to establish and maintain a healthy diet. Helping cauliflower along is the many uses it now has. It's increasingly being widely used in value added products, as an ingredient or in different forms. 

"Cauliflower has really picked up in popularity over the last three years," Cordova observed. "It has always enjoyed good demand, but now that it has become a superfood, this drives consumer demand even further. Cauliflower is now being used in many different value added products. These include cauliflower rice, grilled florets, even cauliflower steak. Not to mention the numerous convenience packs now available with prepared cauliflower that you just throw in the microwave and steam. All of these have led cauliflower to find new value and increased consumption."
For more information:
Bob Cordova
Western Pacific Produce
Tel: +1 (805) 568-1550

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