Crystal Valley's Katiana Valdez Discusses Winter Weather, Growing Mexican Asparagus Crop
- by Jessica Donnel
MIAMI, FL - The Mexican asparagus season is on the horizon, with companies like Crystal Valley Foods gearing up to harvest its green asparagus crop in the country’s Caborca region in northern Sonora. With favorable weather prepping a high-quality crop, Crystal Valley’s Director of Marketing Katiana Valdes shares that we can expect promotable volumes by mid-February, even anticipating a 15 percent increase over last year’s crop.
“The weather in the Caborca, Mexico, region has been excellent, and we expect good quality and good and heavy volume in mid-February,” Katiana tells me when I check in with her on the current asparagus season. “We anticipate a strong, steady market until mid-March, when the Easter pull starts. We will definitely see an increase in asparagus demand for Easter, as is typical for that time of year and holiday.”
Typically lasting from February through March, the upcoming Caborca, Mexico, season, will provide Crystal Valley with promotional pricing for its customers, Katiana says.
The Miami, Florida-based company provides a wide variety of packs and sizes for retailers, including the standard 11 lb cases, as well as asparagus tips. With value-added asparagus becoming increasingly popular in recent years, Crystal Valley has those convenience-focused shoppers also in their sights, offering extended shelf-life, microwave pouches in 2 lb, 1 lb, 8 oz, and 6 oz packages.
So, how can retailers translate these burgeoning asparagus trends into increased dollar amounts at the register? Katiana tells me that education through POS is key.
“Crystal Valley’s marketing team is happy to work with retailers to develop custom POS and educational material for their stores in order to promote their asparagus programs. Although consumption has increased over the last several years, there is still great potential for growth and opportunities to reach those consumers who might not know much about this delicious vegetable. That being said, it is important to continue to educate customers about usage and health benefits.”
In addition to Crystal Valley’s green asparagus program out of Mexico, the company has also developed a strong and consistent white asparagus program. The company imports the milder, more delicate variety from its grower-partners in Peru, and markets it as one the largest importers of white asparagus.