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National Retail Report - specialty crops

Increased attention for apples, potatoes, grapes and cranberries

Many ads from last week were extended through Thanksgiving in order to accommodate last-minute holiday shoppers, resulting in fewer stores posting new specials this week. For those chains which did release new advertisements, Black Friday specials were in the spotlight, with even many stores which usually focus solely on groceries including a special section for gift ideas.

Seasonal favorites reflected the changing focus to the next upcoming holiday, with apples, potatoes, grapes and cranberries joined by hard squash, poinsettias, wreaths, and other Christmas greenery.

Total ad numbers this week were 274,391, a 9% decrease from last week's total of 302,334. The total for the same week last year was 9% higher than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 141,639 (52% of all ads), onions and potatoes 231,548 (11%), vegetables 95,820 (35%), herbs 951, ornamentals 4018 (1%), and hemp 415. The number of ads for organic produce was 24,246, 9% of total ads.

The following are the prices of major advertised items (3,000 plus ads) this week, compared to the same week last year. Significant increases in price for fruit this week included ½ gallon apple juice at 27%, Granny Smith apples at 18%, Honeycrisp apples at 15%, and white grapes at 13%.

There were no significant decreases. Significant increases in price for potatoes and onions this week included 5 lb bagged Russet potatoes at 16%. There were no significant decreases. There were no significant increases in price for vegetables. Significant decreases included celery at 11%.

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