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Shorter raspberry supply pushes up pricing

The volume of raspberries is snug right now. "It's less than previous seasons. Overall raspberry conventional volume is about 25 percent less than same week (week 10) than last year, according to USDA data," says Jose Saca of Wish Farms, adding that throughout the season, the volume has been uneven with some weeks short while other weeks, the supply is just right.

Right now, Mexico is the major supplier of the fruit for the U.S. market. "I think that the season started about two to three weeks later than usual for several reasons. However weather always plays a primary role, especially when regarding the start of the season," he says.

Along with Mexican production, California South is producing very little in raspberries. This region's strongest production is generally between week 17 to week 42 though smaller volumes can continue to week 52.

Raspberry pack sizes
Right now, there are two standard raspberry offerings in the market: the 6oz and the 12oz clamshell, though increasingly and particularly in club stores, larger 18 oz. clamshells are also available.

As for demand, as raspberries have become more available in the last several years, it's been good for the fruit. "Consumption and demand are growing as more people are finally tasting and buying raspberries," says Saca. "They are a great tasting fruit, ready to eat, no peel and everybody likes a beautiful red tasty fruit. It is the perfect sweetness with a touch of acidity that hooks people."

This is all leaving pricing on the stronger side with the shorter volumes and pricing has been higher, especially in the past three to four weeks.

"Looking ahead, I expect for volume to become more available as the spring crop gets started, and thus prices will adjust down to the market volume and availability," says Saca.

For more information:
Nick Wishnatzki
Wish Farms
Tel: +1 (813) 752-5111
[email protected]