Demand high for Thanksgiving staples

10/24/2013 10:23:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Cranberries

Delays at the beginning of the cranberry season won’t affect fresh-market supplies for Thanksgiving, said Bob Wilson, managing member of The Cranberry Network LLC, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., which markets fruit grown by Tomah, Wis.-based Habelman Bros. Co.

“It’s been another interesting year,” Wilson said. “We started slowly out of the gate with color, particularly in Wisconsin.”

Habelman’s harvest should stretch well into November, and already by the week of Oct. 21, harvesters were fighting snow squalls, Wilson said.

That said, retailers won’t have to worry about having abundant volumes for Thanksgiving.

“We have plenty in cold storage now, and we’re packing hard every day,” he said. “And we expect exceptional quality.”

The Cranberry Network is working hard in the runup to this Thanksgiving to push fresh cranberries as a more nutritious alternative to processed, Wilson said.

On Oct. 22, the USDA reported prices of $33-36 for cartons of 24 12-ounce film bags of early black cranberries from Massachusetts, down from $36 last year at the same time.

Green beans

Florida green bean supplies should be decent for Thanksgiving, said Jon Browder, sales manager for Belle Glade, Fla.-based Pioneer Growers Co-op.

Pioneer, which expects to begin harvesting in Homestead on Nov. 1 and Belle Glade on Nov. 5, after wrapping up its South Georgia deal, also looks forward to robust demand.

“We’re looking at a decent market, projecting at $16 to $20” per box, Browder said. “Thanksgiving is generally a good bean holiday.”

Volumes shipping out of Florida in November should be comparable to typical seasons, he said.

On Oct. 22, the USDA reported prices of $23.35-24.85 for bushel crates of round green beans from Georgia, up from $14.35-15.85 last year at the same time.


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