YUMA, AZ - You have heard all the puns and probably made a few yourself: Lettuce turnip the beets, Lettuce give thanks, and so many more. This week as we move into 2023, I bring you: Lettuce find a balance. With a dynamic market and volatile Mother Nature impacting volumes and harvest in recent months, I checked in with The Nunes Company to get a read on the state of affairs today and how its program is looking as 2023 kicks off.
"We are currently growing iceberg lettuce in Yuma, Arizona, with good quality and light volume. Volume is expected to return to normal as we head further into 2023," Stephanie Cantero, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, shared with me. "The colder-than-normal temperatures delayed harvest and overall yield volumes—which are less than what we are accustomed to during this time. This is all making for higher prices in comparison to the previous years."
Stephanie continued by adding that, yes, while Mother Nature has been the most significant contributor to the hallmarks of the lettuce season, she has been far from category-specific.
"While we have many protocols and quality control measures in place to combat today's challenges, the adverse weather conditions have been the biggest challenge. As we transitioned from Salinas to Yuma, there were notable challenges and it has affected all commodities," Stephanie revealed.
As Nunes' supplies continue to improve as we head into January when weather begins to normalize, the Communications and Marketing Coordinator also adds that demand has exceeded the marketplace supply since the start of the Yuma season—so the future may remain as dynamic as recent months have experienced, so, retailers, keep in close contact with suppliers as the new year's push ramps up.
As we look to the changes that January will bring across all categories, keep checking back with AndNowUKnow for the market conditions that impact our most essential categories and consumer trends.