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Brussels sprouts production in California to catch up

The main producing areas for conventional Brussels sprouts right now are Mexico and California. Production is coming from Queen Victoria’s Mexico growing operations and they’ve started their California program as well. “We’ve got both regions going,” said Katie Harreld, sales manager for Queen Victoria Produce. Both places will overlap for the next couple of months. “Our Mexico numbers will start to slow down once it gets to the summer and it gets hotter in Mexico” and she says that’s when their California production will pick up. 

Weather-related delay
It’s common for certain Central American areas to finish up now for the season, especially growers that are more inland. Supply has been somewhat short and, Harreld says, California has some catching up to do. “California hasn’t been quite ready to step into production where normally Mexico is still going so it’s been a little bit limited,” she says, but the state should pick up by the end of the month. The delay is weather related from the drastic winter we had here and all of the rain; it’s slowed some production down. It should turn around.”

The market has been very active and prices have been high. “Probably for the last three weeks we’ve seen prices from $35-40 and they’ve been steady at that.” The most common package earning that price is their 25lb. bulk pack. The Brussels sprouts are packaged and processed daily in the new California facility, which also does baby spinach. 

Bagged sprouts in whole, halves and shreds are processed for both retail and foodservice. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in the Brussels sprout category over the last five or more years,” Harreld said. “There’s been so much growth in popularity as far as how they’re being cooked and prepared and so many different ways they’re being offered.” Offering shreds, for example, gives the customer the ability to use them in salads and other dishes. “It continues to grow.”

For more information:
Katie Harreld
Queen Victoria Produce
Ph: 831.772.9991

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