Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board’s John Bakker Teases Asparagus Season With Bronto Variety
DEWITT, MI - Every year, I always look forward to spring here in the States. Not just for the warmer weather and nature in bloom, but because my dad makes a mean chicken and asparagus. So, when I got the opportunity to speak with John Bakker, Executive Director of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB), to discuss what was next for the asparagus market, I was all ears.
“This year, we are introducing our Bronto Spears asparagus, a thicker spear asparagus with great flavor and texture. Sweet and tender, they are available from May to June,” John tells me. “With this item, we are creating a disruptive brand presence to highlight the unique features of Michigan asparagus during their short seasonal marketing window.”
Michigan’s asparagus season may not be starting yet, but this trade news writer hears that the market will be ready for a fresh produce takeover. Now that the sun is shining and the weather is warming, retailers can anticipate that shoppers are doing more outdoor cooking. With POS material in the form of display boxes, stanchion signs, and shelf-talkers, retail partners can easily promote MAAB’s U.S.-grown asparagus in-store.
“We believe that by our season, markets will stabilize and consumers will be ready to get out of their houses, get more fresh and seasonal produce, and support local businesses and farmers everywhere in the U.S.,” John says. “Additionally, larger spears are great for grilling and more forgiving of overcooking, which is a common asparagus problem.”
Typically, MAAB’s season is about six to eight weeks long, and volume begins to build around Mother’s Day. With the weather starting to warm up, the ground is warming up as well, which will allow growers to start doing some spring work.
“So far, we’ve been experiencing ideal temperatures for this time of year, which helps our crops be ready for the season. We don’t expect much change in volume as our grower base and acreage has remained stable,” John continues. “Michigan growers focus primarily on the green varieties, including Millennium and Jersey Giant.”
I shall be taking these asparagus “tips” to heart as the season progresses. Keep an eye out for more fresh and seasonal updates on all things fruit and veg from ANUK.