Today's Pricing


GEORGIA — Shipments (1,458-1,263-1,057, red-flesh seeded 122-80-63; red-flesh seedless 1,336-1,183-994) — Movement expected to decrease. Trading red-flesh seeded 35s and red-flesh seedless 60s moderate, others very slow. Prices red-flesh seed 35s and red-flesh seedless 60s slightly higher, others lower. 24-inch bins per pounds red-flesh seeded-type 35s 12-13 cents; red-flesh seedless-type 36s mostly 11 cents, 45s mostly 12 cents, 60s 13-14 cents. Quality generally good.

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. — Shipments (314-303-384, seedless 294-278-352, seeded 20-25-32) — Movement expected about the same. Trading seedless 35 count fairly active at slightly lower prices, others fairly active. Prices seedless 35 count slightly lower, seedless 45 count generally unchanged, others slightly higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 count mostly 18 cents, approximately 45 count mostly 19-20 cents, approximately 60 count 17-18 cents; red-flesh seeded-type approximately 35 and 45 counts 12-14 cents. Quality generally good.

TEXAS — Shipments (500-349-182, seedless 480-333-171, seeded 20-16-11) — Movement expected to decrease slightly. Trading early slow, late moderate. Prices 45 count lower, others higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 and 45 count mostly 15-16 cents, approximately 60 count mostly 14 cents. Quality variable.

SOUTH CAROLINA — Shipments (171-140*-125, red-flesh seeded 21-18-6; red-flesh seedless 150-122*-119) — Movement expected to remain about the same. Trading seeded 35s and seedless 60s moderate, other seedless slow. Prices slightly lower. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded 35s mostly 13 cents; red-flesh seedless 36s and 45s mostly 11-12 cents, 60s 13-14 cents. Quality generally good.

IMPERIAL AND COACHELLA VALLEYS, CALIF., AND CENTRAL AND WESTERN ARIZONA — Shipments (seedless AZ 224-207-103, CA 19-0-0) — Movement expected to decrease sharply as most shippers are finished for season. Supplies insufficient to establish a market. Quality generally good. Lighter shipments were expected to continue through July 19. LAST REPORT.

MISSOURI — Shipments (0-8-64, red-flesh seeded 0-2-6; red-flesh seedless 0-58-*) — Movement expected to increase. Trading moderate. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type 36s 14 cents, 45s 15 cents and 60s 15-16 cents. Quality generally good. *unavailable

NORTH CAROLINA — Shipments (1-16-37, red-flesh seeded 1-6-5; red-flesh seedless 0-10-32) — Movement expected to increase as more shippers begin the season. Sufficient volume and number of shippers for first f.o.b. report were expected the week of July 14.

SOUTHWEST INDIANA AND SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS — Shipments (0-0-8, red-flesh seeded 0-0-0; red-flesh seedless 0-0-8) — Very light harvest has begun. Expect sufficient volume for first f.o.b. by late July.

DELAWARE, MARYLAND, EASTERN SHORE, VA. — Light harvest was expected to begin by the week of July 21 with sufficient volume and number of shippers for first f.o.b. report by the week of July 21.

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Midwest Produce Expo Homepage

Store-level marketing is still the most effective

Greg Johnson, EditorGreg Johnson, Editor CHICAGO — It’s the eternal question of produce marketing: When and where do consumers decide what and how much to buy?

If I were to classify my own produce shopping habits, as my household’s primary shopper, I’d have to say more than 50% of my decision is made in-store, according to seasonality, appearance and price.

Then maybe 25% of my decision is based on reading the weekly circular and promotions online for my primary stores, 5% to 10% on advertising/branding, and then rest is insider knowledge from being editor of a produce news organization.

I’d guess the 80% to 85% that doesn’t involve my day job is pretty typical, but how do I know?

Two things I learned this week help confirm that most consumer decisions to buy are made in-store.

As part of hosting our inaugural Midwest Produce Conference & Expo on Aug. 13-15 in Chicago, we held a consumer panel Aug. 13 and a retail tour Aug. 15.

The consumer panel featured 10 people of varying demographics who live in the Chicago area. We required that they be their household’s primary shopper, and, I have to confess, their general lack of ignorance made the panel slightly less fun.

I was really hoping for some stupid comments like buying local bananas or that organic produce is safer.

Most of the panel agreed in-store promotion, price and appearance were the best ways to influence their decision to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than social media, advertising or branding.

Price was a huge factor, half of them said.

That message was reinforced on the urban markets retail tour, which took us to a downtown Mariano’s Market, owned by Roundy’s, and a Southside store of Shop and Save Markets, a five-store chain. Both stores were a little over a year old.

Both also provided excellent examples of effective in-store marketing and competitive pricing.

Ross Greco, merchandiser for Mariano’s, said in-store marketing was a top priority to his chain.

He does all the normal marketing such as circulars and signs, but he said Mariano’s goes out of the way to have sampling every day. In our case, we got to sample five varieties of melons on a tray. But Greco said the fruit and vegetable samples change every day.

He said it’s not uncommon for nearby residents to visit the store five times a week, so it’s important that the location vary displays of its 1,100 SKUs in the summer.

Mariano’s heavily promotes locally grown in the summer, when available.

One example was a sweet corn display with a 2-foot poster of supplier Didier Farms, which is a third-generation, 100-year-old operation in suburban Lincolnshire, which happens to be the headquarters of Vance Publishing Corporation, owner of The Packer.

The Shop and Save store was in a Hispanic and Polish neighborhood, so product catered to those ethnicities.

Brian Holzkopf, produce operations manager at Shop and Save Markets, said his chain’s produce department was the largest contributing department to sales, and having product that appeals to consumers as they shop was a big reason.

The store had an enormous produce department and provided samples of fresh fruit, dips and salsas and sausages.

Prices were pretty low on staples, while more specialty items had higher price points.


The agriculture story of the year is the drought in the Midwest, which has touched about 60% of the country.

The drought has significantly cut yields on corn and soybeans and raised input costs while creating a short-term glut in meat markets, which will be followed by a shortage, leading to rising prices later this year and next year.

It’s not a happy situation if you like to eat in the U.S.

But it really hasn’t affected fresh produce much. Hail has been a bigger factor in Michigan and Washington, for example. Even with local sourcing becoming bigger, the drought isn’t a problem.

Mariano’s Greco said he’s noticed some local sweet corn has shorter shelf-life and some missing kernels, but then the next load will be fine.

When it comes to melons, Greco said quality may even be up this year, with higher sugars and quicker ripening because of the heat, although that comes with shorter shelf-life.

Local Midwest produce will soon be gone come football season, but at least quality has been good enough for consumers to miss it this winter.

What's your take? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.

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