Advertised prices for specialty crops at major retail outlets

US retail turns to Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year

US retailers quickly rebounded from Thanksgiving promotions and turned to Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. Poinsettias and evergreen wreaths decorated stores and ad flyers across the nation. Holiday essentials such as sweet potatoes, pomegranates, cranberries, asparagus, celery, onions, apple juice, and potatoes were heavily promoted. Pie pumpkins, berries, apples, pears, plums, and cherries were on hand for holiday baking.

Favorites like avocados, cilantro, bell peppers, baby carrots, and cucumbers were at the ready for holiday parties. Most flyers offered specials on gifts and decorations.

Total ad numbers this week were 313,666, about steady from last week’s 316,026. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 179,017 (57% of all ads), onions and potatoes 22,392 (7%), vegetables 102,867 (33%), herbs 1,086 and ornamentals 8,304. The number of ads for organic produce was 39,725, 13% of total ads.

The following are the prices of major advertised items (3,000-plus stores) this week, compared to the same week last year. Significant increases in price for fruit items this week included pomegranates at 56%, blackberries at 32%, Bartlett pears at 18%, and at 10% were Navel oranges (ea), white seedless grapes, and 6 oz blueberries.

Significant decreases included raspberries at 19%, blueberries (1 pt) at 14%, Honeycrisp apples at 12%, Navel oranges (per lb) at 10%, and apple juice at 10%. The only significant increase for onions and potatoes was for Russet potatoes at 13%; there were no significant decreases.

Significant increases in price for vegetables this week included packaged salad at 23%, and bell peppers (yellow at 12%, orange at 11%, and red at 10%). There were no significant decreases.

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