Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. My reasoning has nothing to do with the weather, football, or even time with family. In my opinion, it is the only holiday that is genuinely food-centric.
Yes, other holidays include food, and a large portion of the day is dedicated to the consumption of it. But at its core, what is Thanksgiving more than giving thanks for the mountains of casseroles, pies, and the hands that made them?
ProduceIQ Index: $1.15/pound, up +5 percent over prior week
Week #46, ending November 17th
Blue Book has teamed with ProduceIQ BB #:368175 to bring the ProduceIQ Index to its readers. The index provides a produce industry price benchmark using 40 top commodities to provide data for decision making.
This week’s price index is a little misleading. Despite appearances, fresh produce for your Turkey Day menu is a bit more affordable than last year.
The Index is up +5 percent over the previous week, but that is due mainly to the beginning of cherry import season (which always starts expensive). If you look past the initial data, you’ll see that the prices of many Thanksgiving staples, such as apples, sweet potatoes, and celery, are much closer to the historical average than what we’ve seen in a couple of years.
Still, it wouldn’t be the week before Thanksgiving or the fresh produce industry without stubborn outliers.
Heavy rain in Florida is affecting cucumber, squash, tomatoes, and strawberry production. Last week, a non-tropical low system left the state in an unusually dreary haze. After nearly three days of soft and consistent rain, many residents in South Florida reported feeling sad and a strange desire to wear sweaters and drink hot tea. Many questioned how the weather system couldn’t have been a named storm.
Jokes aside, the wind and moisture are seriously affecting growers in Florida. Squash is up +93 percent, cucumbers +30, and strawberries +13 percent over the previous week. With more rain in the forecast for this week for Central and North Florida, expect lighter than usual supply from new crops through December.
Zucchini Squash (medium) prices double in one week, now north of $12.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, green bean prices are up +11 percent to $33, barely surpassing the ten-year record set last year. Holiday demand is fierce, and supply is short; however, relief isn’t too far off. Be sure to keep your eye on green beans. Their Thanksgiving hangover will surely be one for the record books.
Green bean prices, $33, peak at Thanksgiving and then descend.
Our favorite kitchen workhorse, the carrot, is driving the struggle bus. Prices have been consistently at a ten-year high for months, and holiday demand/small sizing isn’t giving buyers or suppliers a reason to be thankful this week.
Carrot prices (Western, Jumbo, 50lb) are now $28, which is a new high after reaching $24 in 2022
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ProduceIQ is a digital toolset designed to improve the produce trading process for buyers and suppliers. We save you time, increase your profits, expand your network, and provide valuable information.
The ProduceIQ Index is the fresh produce industry’s only shipping point price index. It represents the industry-wide price per pound at the location of packing for domestic produce and at the port of U.S. entry for imported produce.
ProduceIQ uses 40 top commodities to represent the industry. The Index weights each commodity dynamically, by season, as a function of the weekly 5-year rolling average Sales. Sales are calculated using the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service for movement and price data. The Index serves as a fair benchmark for industry price performance.