Luis Gonzalez Shares Grey Squash Update From SunFed®
RIO RICO, AZ - As we’re caught in the middle of cool winter temperatures and incoming spring weather, warm dishes still fill my mind—and many of them contain squash. Stuffed, pan-fried, or roasted, I know your shoppers are always in the mood for quick and easy recipes that are both nutritious and delicious. I chatted with Luis Gonzalez, Sales and Marketing for SunFed®, on the incoming harvest supplying those tasty squash dishes.
“We are premier growers of squash coming out of Mexico, and one of the pioneers of grey,” Luis told me. “Our volume is always looking strong within this commodity, and we have year-round programs out of multiple growing areas.”
Currently, SunFed is receiving grey squash out of Mexico; its Sinaloa production is finishing up before transitioning over to Sonora. This overlap causes a strong volume received at SunFed’s distribution points. Although this transitioning period will be a challenge due to the different price points, SunFed aims to tighten its production within its Sinaloa crop to match new Sonora crop prices.
“One challenging factor with transitioning periods is split markets. In Nogales, Arizona, you will be seeing two different price points as well as two distinct qualities within the same commodities,” explained Luis. “It’s a tricky balance, but it really helps that we have strategic relationships with customers that trust our quality and want our Perfect Squash®!”
Pricing is not the only challenge the grower had to overcome. Just last week, desert snow hit its Nogales warehouse. Mother Nature wasn’t quite ready to give up on winter just yet, but the SunFed team also didn’t give in.
“We woke up to snow here in Nogales. Snow in the desert? I can count the times it had snowed here in Nogales,” continued Luis. “All this cold weather impacts our production because we see way more extra-fancy and fancy sizing than medium or wire-bound sizes. But, the weather didn’t impact our Mexican supplies. Volume has been strong, and it will continue to be until May. We are expecting grey squash supplies to get tight once Sinaloa stops production.”
The anticipated strong volume on top of a tightening of production may influence pricing in the months ahead. Historically, prices for grey squash are usually held for March through April, maintaining around $8.00–$10.00 FOB in Nogales. However, demand will always remain high for this category as it continues to keep its hold on consumers’ baskets. As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the U.S., increasing your shelf space on grey squash will be most opportune in the following months.
“Right now, I highly recommend grey squash to any buyer that currently takes either zucchini or yellow straight neck,” Luis imparted. “I personally like it more than zucchini because it has a more buttery taste profile. It’s very popular amongst Latinos, and many people refer to this variety as Mexican squash or Calabacitas. It’s a great variety to sell, especially as the holiday approaches.”
With updates from our industry continuing to come down the pike, keep a tab open for ANUK.