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Radish demand slowly builds

rad gnomes

Summer tends to be the slow time for radishes, but 2020 has been another strong volume year, building on increasing consumer demand for the spicy salad vegetable.

Matt DeBoer, senior vice president of Agtools Inc. BB #:355102 said the seven-year volume comparison tells the story.

Blue Book has teamed with Agtools Inc., the data analytic service for the produce industry, to look at a handful of crops and how they’re adjusting in the market during the pandemic.

Looking at the three and seven-year trends in volume, 2020 has been a consistent year for supply, DeBoer said. 2019 was a little heavier in volume, but 2020 is the second largest volume year over the last seven.


Looking at shipping F.O.B.s for bunched 24ct and 48ct radishes show a fairly consistent trend line, and while the highs and lows did not peak and dip like 2017 and 2018, there was still a good amount of split, especially looking at the 24ct, DeBoer said.

The 48ct bunched radish, shows a little tighter split, but more peaks and valleys compared to the 24ct, he said.

What is interesting, are the large swings in retail pricing when you look at the two halves of the country, DeBoer said. In the southern portion, it follows suit that retail pricing will be much more aggressive when located close to the source. The southwest never goes above $0.99, while the southeast heads north of that twice and the south central exceeds $0.99 on four occasions.

Southern US

Looking at the northern half of the US, the northwest has an obvious advantage when it comes to pricing, while the northeast spends most of the time above the $0.99 mark, he said.

Watch for the Gnomes:

“The best thing about looking into data are the little surprises,” DeBoer says.

“For instance, did you know that we are closing in on 100 million pounds of radishes this year? Of which, seven pounds are from the Netherlands. Finding those seven pounds would be equivalent to finding the Golden Ticket to tour Willie Wonka’s Radish Farm.”

There are three main regions in the production of radishes – Mexico, Southern California, and Florida. Together, they have produced over 94 percent of the volume year-to-date.

Volume by Region

Overall, radish volume has shown strength in an unforgiving market and continues to be a staple item in the grocery store, DeBoer said. However, the question remains – where are those seven pounds of radishes from the Netherlands?


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services