The eggplant season in Mexico kicked off this week and despite some challenges, growers are excited for the season ahead. Early eggplant supplies have been impacted by tropical storm activity which has been rather active in Mexico over the past couple of months.
"Our eggplant season started this week," shared Gretchen Kreidler Austin of SunFed. "Our typical season, without interference from Mother Nature is from October to the end of May. Supplies will be limited for the next month or two due to the hurricane that hit the Culiacan growing region in early September. We replanted, but the storm has caused a delay and slow start to our season, with less supply."
However, now that the eggplants have been replanted, supplies are expected to be ample. Kreidler Austin noted that the product is looking excellent, adding that SunFed is expecting fewer problems going forward, as they have this year transitioned to growing all of the eggplants in a protected environment. "We have replanted and the rest of our season should see beautiful production and quality eggplant," she said. "As always, we believe in 'Perfect Produce' and our eggplant remains top notch as we now are growing 100 percent of our crop in a protected environment. Our eggplant is beautiful with the amazing deep aubergine color that eggplant is known for."
Preparing for promotions
Now that eggplant production is comfortably underway, SunFed is busy preparing promotions for the season. The company said it will be heavily promoting the start of its eggplant programs throughout November, with the aim of getting consumers excited for the new crop. To accompany the promotion of the new crop, SunFed has a vast array of packaging options available for its customers.
"Our 'Perfect Eggplant' comes packed just about any way our customers want it," Kreidler Austin said. "The traditional bulk eggplant packs of 16, 18, 24, and 32 count all are available in our SunFed and SunOne labels. They are packed in a modified atmosphere, modified humidity bag, allowing respiration of the eggplant and ensuring freshness not only at store level, but in the consumers hands as well. Our 'Almost Famous' (Veggies with Character) label offers our eggplant packed in a 2 count grab and go bag, with equal freshness and flavor with some character."
SunFed's distribution covers the nation, with eggplants showing notably good demand on the East Coast, as Kreidler Austin explains. "Eggplant is a staple in many households but seems to be most popular in the East and Northeast."