Strawberry volumes look to be ramping up soon.
Strawberry volumes in Central Mexico and Florida are expected to continually increase in the coming weeks.
Kyla Oberman of California Giant Berry Farms based in Watsonville, CA says current supplies of strawberries are tight due to high demand for the fruit. “Volumes in Central Mexico and Florida are expected to continually increase in the coming weeks. We anticipate Mexico and Florida strawberries peaking in time for Valentine’s Day,” said Oberman.
That said, current volumes are greater than this time last year by about 15 percent thanks largely to good weather conditions. Right now, California Giant is harvesting strawberries in California out of Oxnard and Santa Maria, as well as out of Florida and Mexico.
“Oxnard had its first harvest the first week of the year and will quickly ramp up towards its peak in March. Santa Maria’s spring crop had its first harvest the second week of January and will double in volume week over week through March,” says Oberman. “Our growers in Florida and Mexico are quickly working towards their peak volume periods which will contribute to a majority of our Valentine’s Day pull.”
Kyla Oberman (above) says California Giant is harvesting strawberries in California out of Oxnard and Santa Maria, as well as out of Florida and Mexico.
Strong consumption of berries
Historically supplies of strawberries are tighter at this time of year. “Consumption of strawberries has been strong following the pandemic. Consumers are making more health-conscious choices and the health benefits of strawberries, especially their high vitamin C content, is a major draw for shoppers,” says Oberman. It is of course also the time when New Year’s resolutions around healthy eating are also underway which also fuels fresh produce demand.
In addition, Valentine’s Day is also on the horizon, a holiday often associated with strawberries and Oberman says retailers are also currently planning their holiday buying. “We anticipate a good volume of strawberries for Valentine’s Day and typically see high demand for long-stemmed strawberries around this time of year. Most of our spring crop growing areas will begin ramping up supply to promotable volume at the end of February,” she adds.
Current volumes of strawberries are greater than this time last year by about 15 percent thanks largely to good weather conditions.
However, as far as challenges go, Oberman notes that labor challenges have been ongoing. “Teams are still putting forth great efforts to secure the workforce needed. However labor shortages are continuing in most regions,” says Oberman.