Healthy volume of eggplant heading into the season

Volume looks good and steady for the eggplant season. “We’re at the very start of the season and the season will run from now until May. We have a long way to go,” says Christopher Ciruli of Tubac, AZ-based Ciruli Brothers. “The market is quite a bit lower than last year, volumes are higher and volumes should remain steady all the way through the month of December. Typically it’s colder in January so you don’t get as much, but December will be a very promotable month.”

In turn, Ciruli is seeing favourable prices. “Prices are very very promotable right now,” he says. “Though last year was quite a bit of a higher market. Florida’s had much better growing weather this year, much less cold weather, less rain so more competition. The next few weeks we’ll see very reasonably priced markets and high volume.”

Ciruli is hoping that the traditional eggplant’s promotability will go a long way in boosting the image of the vegetable. “Eggplant is an item that the older generation eats and the younger generation hasn’t taken to it,” he says. “We’re still trying to get out there with the traditional variety if customers want them but it’s difficult because you don’t have a consumption base growing.”

That said, Ciruli is offering ethnic varieties of eggplant, an area where there’s a pick up in interest. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in the Hindus or Indian eggplant (sometimes known as “baby eggplants” and the Italian eggplant (a longer, thinner purple eggplant),” Ciruli adds. “That’s due to ethnic growth and I think we’ll see that continue.”

Christopher Ciruli
Ciruli Brothers
Tel: +1 520 281 9696

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