There is a shortage of garlic in the US due to the increase in demand for garlic among American consumers and the disruption of supply chains due to the pandemic. As a result, its retail price has skyrocketed.
The initial outbreak of the virus in China, the world's largest garlic producer, paralyzed supply to the United States market. Meanwhile, Argentina, another major exporter, recently diverted most of its exports to Brazil instead of directing them to the North American market because of a commercial agreement signed between both countries.
In addition, the garlic produced in the US was already in short supply after violent storms destroyed much of the 2019 crop. "Everything together has really had an impact," said Doug Stanley, a garlic producer, and general manager of Harris Fresh.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, a string of five garlic bulbs cost about $ 1.43 on average this spring, i.e. 29% more than in the spring of last year. Nonetheless, industry experts predict that garlic imports will increase and prices will stabilize in May or June as global supply chains recalibrate and blockages are eased.
Some industry leaders speculate that garlic fever is linked to its healthful properties. In fact, Google Trends, a tool that analyzes the main search queries, seems to confirm that hypothesis. According to Google Trends, in the past month, some of the most popular search terms related to garlic were: "garlic immune system", and "does garlic kill viruses?".