National Retail Report - specialty crops

Peak summer goodness arrived in US stores this week

Peak summer goodness arrived in stores this week, courtesy of local farmers. MA greens, VA green beans, PA broccoli, AZ cantaloupe, OR lettuce, IL corn, and AR peppers were just a few of the many local items seen in produce ads this week. National Rainier Cherry Day is July 11, and many retailers featured the yellow gems.

Total ad numbers this week were 324,084, a 1% decrease from last week's 327,625. The total for the same week last year was 6% higher than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 179,874 (56% of all ads), onions and potatoes 11,832 (4%), vegetables 128,129 (40%), herbs 1,558, ornamentals 1,685, and hemp 1,006.

The number of ads for organic produce was 49,547, 15% 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 cherries (red 61%, Rainier 21%), nectarines (white 40%, yellow 30%), peaches (white 35%, yellow 19%), mangos at 26%, strawberries (2 lb) at 24%, organic strawberries (1 lb) at 22%, apple juice at 18%, cantaloupes at 16%, pineapples at 15%, avocados at 14%, plums at 12%, red seedless grapes at 12%, seedless watermelons at 11%, and blueberries (1 pint) at 10%.

The sole significant decrease was for blackberries at 21%. Significant changes in price for onions and potatoes this week included only a 15% increase for sweet yellow onions (per pound). Significant increases in price for vegetables this week included bell peppers (yellow, red, and orange, all at 44%), packaged salads (10-12 oz at 27%, 5-9 oz at 18%), cucumbers at 26%, corn at 18%, on-the-vine tomatoes at 18%, yellow squash at 17%, and zucchini at 13%. There were no significant decreases.

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