Fourth of July specials popped off like firecrackers this week as retailers tried to offer shoppers some relief from high prices and high temperatures alike. Chilly produce aisles were sparkling with the season's freshest peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, cantaloupes, watermelons, grapes, and berries. Grill-friendly zucchinis, pineapples, yellow squash, and corn sparked ideas for cookouts. Walla Walla onions and Rainier cherries came in with a bang. Patriotic bakery items, decorations, and floral items brightened up the atmosphere in stores.
Total ad numbers this week were 327,625, a 7% increase from last week's 307,608. The total for the same week last year was 1% higher than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 194,094 (59% of all ads), onions and potatoes 21,122 (6%), vegetables 108,351 (33%), herbs 1,188, ornamentals 827, and hemp 2,043. The number of ads for organic produce was 43,297, 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 this week included red cherries at 72%, avocados at 36%, nectarines (white 34%, yellow 23%), peaches (white 32%, yellow 25%), watermelons (mini seedless 28%, seedless 14%), mangos at 19%, strawberries at 17%, plums at 16%, blueberries (1 pint) at 16%, pineapples at 14%, and apple juice at 11%. There were no significant decreases. Significant changes in price for onions and potatoes this week included only a 19% increase for sweet yellow onions (per pound). Significant increases in price for vegetables this week included corn at 35% and packaged salads (5-9 oz at 22%, 10-12 oz at 15%). There were no significant decreases.