Matt Hiltner Shares Update on Babé Farms’ Carrot Market and In-Store Opportunities
SANTA MARIA, CA - Mirepoix, stews, desserts, and juices, what is a common factor across these dominating categories in the kitchen? If you guessed a bright root veg, then you are right on the carrot nose. Carrots play a major role in the produce aisle, which is unsurprising seeing that the category is as colorful as it is vast. Matt Hiltner, Marketing Coordinator, gives me the lowdown on Babé Farms’ harvest and how these specialty supplies can drive upcoming holiday promotions.
“Santa Maria Valley’s coastal growing climates allow us to plant each of our six varieties throughout the year in California, making carrot season year-round at Babé Farms! We’re your one-stop shop when it comes to colorful carrots, for retail and foodservice alike,” Matt shares. “Luckily, the weather has not been much of a factor so far this season, so we have seen excellent supplies and quality compared to last year—which was already a good year for carrots in its own right! We hope these trends remain consistent and carry us through the spring.”
Spring-like weather is already in full swing here in California, and warm meals outside are in our futures, especially with holidays such as Easter, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother’s Day just over the bend. Currently, Matt shares that the carrot market is steady, and the grower expects this to pick up as we count down until the holidays.
“Colorful carrots are a popular item during the spring months, particularly for Easter. Foodservice and home chefs are looking to add pinks, purples, and yellows to their plates, and there is no better way to do it than with our colorful assortment of carrots,” continues Matt. “We have French (orange), yellow, purple, white, and Thumbelina (or round) varieties, and we offer a range of pack sizes and mixes to fit every need.”
Babé Farms provides 5 lb “ZIP” bags of its hand-peeled carrots in French and two mixed color options. Bulk options are also available in 25 lb sacks of large carrots with no tops in all the colors of the rainbow.
While transportation and labor costs have gone up across all industries, prices for the specialty carrots have also slightly increased over last year. However, Matt ensures Babé Farms is working with retail partners to meet demands, as the grower has kept prices manageable without having any drastic increases.
The grower is also keeping a keen eye on social media and consumer trends, as root veg continue to be a versatile ingredient shoppers and foodservice operators can’t get enough of.
“We are very active on social media, and we love to monitor trending applications for our vegetables,” Matt explains. “Sustainability and trendy ways to serve—for entertainment or personal enjoyment—are on our radar, and consumers continue to turn to carrots as a main ingredient.”
As challenges and trends spring up, keep calm, and carrot on with ANUK.