Michigan Asparagus Wraps Historic Best Season
DEWITT, MI - The Earth is turning, U.S. summer temperatures are rising, and produce is abounding! The asparagus season is wrapping up in Michigan and, according to John Bakker, Executive Director, it was a historic best for the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) as consumer demand increased for this stalky category.
“We are wrapping up our season, and it has been one of our best years in recent history thanks to buyer support and consumers that are purchasing more fresh produce,” John informs me. “We were pleased to see the high demand throughout the season, and we hope that continues to translate into the same success in future years.”
This season, MAAB saw an ample supply of asparagus amongst Michigan growers. However, due to heightened demand for locally and U.S.-grown produce, category pricing was above average, leading to a strong market with limited supplies.
“Overall supply has been tight and demand has been high,” explains John. “Increased home cooking and consumption have driven sales of fresh produce higher than in recent history thanks to consumers not only eating at home but cooking more family meals, and fresh produce has benefited from that trend.”
MAAB launched its Bronto Spears program this year, which highlighted the unique size characteristics of Michigan asparagus and worked to dispel consumer myths about larger asparagus. Working with Michigan growers, the dynamic organization worked throughout the season to meet heightened demand for this dynamic category.
“Lately, we have been working with new customers who don’t typically buy Michigan produce,” continues John. “Hopefully, they will remember the adaptability of Michigan suppliers and the quality of Michigan asparagus next season as well.”
Michigan saw a bit of heat the past few weeks, which kept growers on their toes and escalated the speed of harvest. Thankfully, the weather overall was favorable and allowed excellent quality asparagus to grow this season.
“We are proud of the work that Michigan asparagus growers do to continue to provide a local/U.S.-grown market niche despite the continued and growing pressure from imports,” John concludes. “We believe U.S.-grown products should always have a place in the market, and we appreciate retailers who embrace seasonal marketing to showcase these products and give consumers a choice.”
POS materials and digital toolkits to facilitate any marketing goals and programs are available for retail partners to take advantage of this great seasonal opportunity. Shelf talkers and stanchion signs are also available to participating retail partners as well as hangtags on packaged products and customized promotional support.
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