Volume is up on specialty Moon Drops grapes out of California this season.
“There’s an excellent supply of Moon Drops this year. We have an increase in volume and it’s our seventh commercial season with the variety,” says Jim Beagle of Shafter, Ca.-based Grapery. “It really takes five to seven years to start to get a handle on how to grow a variety so there’s an exceptional increase in quality this year along with a slight increase in volume.”
Beagle estimates there’s a 20-25 percent boost in volume this year on the grapes, which started at the end of August but will ship until mid-November. “In terms of volume, we are just getting into the last half of the season,” says Beagle.
Moon Drops are one of a number of specialty grapes Grapery grows—Cotton Candy and Gum Drops grapes are a few others—and Beagle says demand is strong for this variety. “The feedback we get is remarkable. The word of mouth and the buzz has taken off this year,” he says.
Putting Moon Drops on display
Retailers are responding as well. “As a new variety it’s taken a few years of increasing volumes for the retailers to know and be familiar with it enough to be willing to dedicate display space to it,” says Beagle.
As for pricing, it’s picked up some since last year at this time, as have demand and quantity. Beagle notes that the common price for this premium grape is generally $2.49-$2.99/lb.
Looking ahead, Beagle anticipates more steadiness. “We’ve got steady volume and a lot of nice displays of Moon Drops especially going into the holiday season,” says Beagle. "We’ll have steady supplies into early November.”