Brussels Sprouts Prices Trending Above $40.00; Ocean Mist’s John Shaw and Ippolito’s Katie Harreld Discuss
BAJA CALIFORNIA - Rain, high demand, and active markets seem to be a recurring theme this season.
Brussels sprouts prices have been trending in the low to mid-forties for the past several weeks on 25 lb. cartons, growers told us late last week, as a result of the increased demand and lower supplies due to weather-related challenges.
Salinas, California-based Ippolito International is currently sourcing Brussels sprouts from two regions in Baja Mexico, with a few more regions to start in the coming weeks.
"Demand has been very good," said Katie Harreld, Sales Manager with Ippolito. “The supplies have been short for a few months now, and demand has not slowed down at all. The Brussel sprout category has seen tremendous popularity which in turn means increased demand, with the short supplies we have had as an industry we have not been able to keep up with the demand."
The fluctuating weather in Mexico played a huge role in delaying production. During the season's plantings in the summer, periods of warm temperatures followed by cold temperatures and heavy rainfall set production back by a few weeks, and ultimately, more time was needed to size up the sprouts. Castroville, California-based Ocean Mist Farms, which is currently growing Brussels sprouts in several regions of Baja Mexico and in Coachella, California, is also currently seeing a "demand exceeds supply" situation.
"Both regions have had the same weather challenges. During our plantings we had a few cycles of very warm temperatures followed by very cold temperatures then came the heavy rainfall and more cold temperatures," said John Shaw, Ocean Mist Farms' Brussels Sprouts Commodity Manager.
Harreld concurred, saying, “The much needed recent rains have caused harvesting delays from both regions in Baja. The ground is too muddy for crews to attempt to harvest so we have missed full harvest days during the month of January. We are not near our normal budgeted numbers for this time of year, but each week supplies seem to be getting better.”
In spite of these challenges, growers are reporting that quality is meeting expectations.
"The overall quality has been good; there have been some small quality problems with getting new growing regions going, but overall good quality to start the Mexico season," said Harreld.
Similarly, Shaw added, “The overall quality of the finished product has been good. The Brussels sprouts weights and color are good and sprouts are firm. With that being said, we have been culling a larger number of sprouts than in years past due to quality issues caused by this year's weather challenges."
As we continue to keep track of the market prices, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for any further updates.
Companies in this Story
Ocean Mist® Farms
Ippolito International is a second-generation farming company providing year-round supplies of premium quality Queen...