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ProduceIQ: March Madness meets Easter produce demand


About as fickle as a March Madness bracket, Spring transition has arrived! In search of better-growing conditions, most produce commodities will transition northward over the next five weeks.

The only sure thing is that nothing is, so stay tuned to keep pace with the price volatility this time of year is known for.

If you couldn’t tell from this week’s asparagus prices or the mildly creepy amount of bunny décor in your local grocer, Easter is upon us. Due to strong demand, asparagus prices are up +64 percent over the previous week. Supply is moderate.

However, week #13’s volume will be low due to decreased harvests as workers pause to celebrate Holy Week.

If prices follow historical trends for March and April, prices will continue their stratospheric trajectory over the next four weeks.

ProduceIQ Index:  $1.15/pound, up +2.7 percent over prior week

Week #12, ending March 22nd

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.

Get ’em’ while you can, folks. Broccoli prices have entered a period of unpredictability as growing regions migrate Northward. At $15, prices are above average but still within a “normal” range for week #12. As temperatures rise in the desert, expect fields in Western Arizona to wind down quickly.

Broccoli prices, $15, ascend into season of historical volatility. 


If you are on a budget, you might want to remove table grapes from your Easter brunch menu. Grape supply, especially red varietals, is in a demand-exceeds-supply situation. El Nino forced Chilean growers in the North to harvest earlier than usual, resulting in fewer boxes and a gap between growers in the Central part of the country.

Forecasts for the rest of the Chilean import season aren’t exactly optimistic. Buyers are looking toward the Mexican growing season as a beacon of hope in an extended period of elevated prices. 

Red table grapes (West), $40, are double historical prices for week #12.


Dry onion prices just declined -4 percent over the previous week. Although volume from growers in the Northwest is forecasted to fall quickly over the next two weeks, Mexican volume is ramping up. It should continue to provide relief to supply-deprived markets.

Yellow onions, $22, from West maintain remarkable record high.


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ProduceIQ is an online toolset designed to improve the produce trading process for buyers and suppliers. We save you time, expand your opportunities, and provide valuable information to increase your profits.

ProduceIQ Index

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.


Mark Campbell is an industry veteran with over 20 years of produce experience. After earning his MBA from Columbia Business School, he spent seven years as CFO for J&J Family of Farms. He later served as CFO advisor to several produce growers, shippers, and distributors. In this role, Mark saw the impediments that prevent produce growers and buyers from trading with greater access and efficiency. This led him to cofound ProduceIQ.