National Retail Report - specialty crops

Number of ads for organic produce at 13% of total

The shift toward fall commodities is in full swing. Apple cider, pomegranates, pumpkins, and hard squash joined new crop apples and pears for festive displays. Ads for onions, potatoes increased this week as shoppers looked toward heartier fare. Cabbage and carrots were also popular. Naturally, pumpkin-spiced foods and décor items were ubiquitous in flyers.

Hispanic Heritage month continues to be a focus for many retailers, with ads for Grey and Kabocha squashes, Roma tomatoes, avocados, sour oranges, cilantro, limes, and several varieties of chiles showcased together in special sections calling attention to the observance.

Total ad numbers this week were 288,813, a 6% increase from last week's total of 272,431. The total for the same week last year was 4% lower than for this year. The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 141,279 (49% of all ads), onions and potatoes 28,026 (10%), vegetables 115,806 (40%), herbs 968, ornamentals 1,772, and hemp 1,930.

The number of ads for organic produce was 36,143, 13% 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 Bartlett pears at 14%, and white seedless grapes at 13%. Significant decreases in price for fruit included Gala apples (3 lb. bag) at 18%, tangerines (3 lb. bag) at 16%, avocados at 14%, and pomegranates at 12%. Significant increases in price for onions and potatoes this week included only Russet potatoes (5 lb. bag) at 19%. Significant decreases included red potatoes (5 lb. bag) at 20% and white onions (per lb.) at 19%. Significant increases in price for vegetables this week included hard squash (Spaghetti at 34%, Acorn at 33%, and Butternut at 30%). Significant decreases in price for vegetables included only zucchini at 15%.

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