Following a slightly later start to the season, supplies of California grapes are now hitting the peak of the season. “Supplies are plentiful and high quality. It’s the best time of year for California grapes,” said Jim Beagle of Grapery. He notes that supplies will stay consistent in terms of volume until after Thanksgiving. “There are still plenty of grapes after Thanksgiving but it does start to decrease each week after that,” he says.
Grapery is working with its proprietary varieties: Cotton Candy, Gum Drops and Moon Drops and both Cotton Candy and Gum Drop grapes have more volumes available this season.
Meanwhile, movement is good and demand is strong. “My impression is it’s due to really high-quality grapes--it’s a great eating experience,” Beagle says, noting that Grapery tracks consumer feedback closely and has recently seen a drop in complaint rates. “It’s the lowest we’ve ever had which is a sign of how good the eating experience is across the board.”
Moving into fall
The shift in seasons could also help the movement of grapes. “We do sense an increase in demand as the options people have in the produce department shift going into the fall. There are some items highlighted in produce departments that aren’t there anymore and grapes can take more of a center stage position at this time of year,” he says.
Logistics also remains top of mind when it comes to movement. “Logistics are better but not what they could be and not what they used to be,” says Beagle. He also notes that looking ahead, growers are hoping for a wet winter this year in California. “It’s been dry here the last few winters and we’re all concerned about the long-term outlook for water.”