Naturipe Farms' Director of New Business Development West Jerry Moran Discusses Strawberry Market Ahead of Valentine's Day
- by Robert Schaulis
SALINAS, CA – With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, strawberries are on consumers’ and retailers’ minds alike. Covered in chocolate, baked into, or served atop confections, these sweet morsels are always in high demand during the holiday. What can we expect from the season’s harvest? We tapped Jerry Moran, Naturipe Farms' Director of New Business Development West, to let us know.
“We will have great quality and quantities of strawberries to promote in February,” Moran notes. “We’re currently producing very good supplies of strawberries from Central Mexico and Florida, and Southern California is also starting to increase production. Between all of our growing districts, we will be able to offer promotable volumes in multiple pack sizes so that retailers can take advantage of this early volume.”
The company is currently harvesting several strawberry varieties: Radiance and Sensation in Florida; San Andreas and Albion among other varieties in Central Mexico; and Fronteras, Petaluma, and others in Oxnard, California.
“Overall market conditions are very good for our strawberries,” adds Moran, “and we expect demand to remain very strong through Valentine’s Day. Plenty of fruit is coming on, so promotions will need to be in place to keep pace with increasing supplies.”
With strong industry volumes and growth expected throughout February and March, buyers should have great supplies of both conventional and organic categories throughout late winter and into early spring.
Cool winter weather will likely result in high-quality strawberries throughout the next couple months. And though Moran notes that organic strawberry production has been challenging this winter, the company is beginning to see increased supply in both Florida and California. Naturipe expects to have promotable volumes in place within the next couple weeks.
“We have responded to increasing consumer demand for organic strawberries by adding acreage in both Florida and California, in order to satisfy this time of year,” Moran says. “And we can expect industry volumes to be improved very soon.”
Moran notes that consumers can expect good supply of and very good quality strawberries for Valentine’s Day. Despite recent storms, the company is seeing a normal season’s harvest, and retailers can rest assured: “Expect pricing to be very competitive with past years. We may possibly have some of the best volume available for this time of year in recent history.”
For more as the season develops, check back in with AndNowUKnow.