Ippolito International’s Sarah Clarke Provides Read on Cauliflower Market
SALINAS, CA - The warm weather in Sacramento, California, gives rise to feelings of rich dishes full of hearty veg. The spring season is fully on our doorsteps, and consumers like me are looking to switch up their nightly meals. Cauliflower is a great veg playing a major part in the specialty industry—cauliflower pizza, wings, or steak, anyone?—so I tapped Sarah Clarke, Sales and Commodity Manager for Ippolito International, to get a read on these white trees.
“We saw some of the best cauliflower quality that we have seen in our Yuma, Arizona, season. The cauliflower is tolerant to lower temperatures and frost, so while there were some cold mornings, our crops were flourishing,” Sarah illuminates me. “Sizing for this season was very uniform and true to a 12 ct, and the heads have been compact with a very nice white color. The jacket leaves have been ideal, and that provided adequate crop coverage.”
Ippolito’s crops in Yuma will run through the third week of April, and it will overlap with the grower’s Salinas, California, harvest, which is expected to start the first week of April. To help align with its customers’ loading needs, Ippolito extends its Yuma season slightly longer, which follows a one- to two-week later start for the Salinas region.
Currently, Sarah sees a very active cauliflower market with strong demand and limited supplies. For this reason, promotional opportunities have not been available from the grower.
“Open market pricing has been in the mid $20s to $30, and limited supplies throughout the industry will keep the market strong through the beginning of April,” continues Sarah. “The price and supply trends are very similar compared to this time last year.”
In mid-February of 2021, Ippolito saw pricing in the mid to high teens; as March hit, pricing took a jump into the mid $20s. This year, markets moved from the high teens in February to the mid to high $20s at the beginning of March. Additionally, Ippolito saw Yuma pricing fluctuate between $26–$30 for March due to lighter supplies and strong demand.
The grower’s Salinas season will start the week of April 4, though, and volume is projected to ramp up the week of April 11. As Sarah puts it, April growing conditions are ideal, with temperatures in the high 60s to mid-70s.
“So far, quality reports are excellent,” concludes Sarah. “We are seeing good sizing with white and compact heads. It looks like opportunities for promotions will be available.”
I and many cauliflower eaters out there are looking for this white veg on the shelf, so continue reading ANUK for updates in the market.
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Ippolito International is a second-generation farming company providing year-round supplies of premium quality Queen...