“Off-season imports have created a complex situation for California’s asparagus industry,” she said.
That’s not all bad, Watte Angulo said.
“Year-round availability of asparagus means consumers can source the product 365 days of the year and it is more likely to become a regular part of a family’s food purchases,” she said.
More consumption means consumers are more comfortable preparing asparagus and integrating it more often in to a family’s meals, Watte Angulo noted.
“On the other hand, more product on the market means we often face marketing challenges like we are at this time with too much imported product on the marketplace creating a glut and depressing price,” she said.
Peruvian shippers are concerned, too, about low markets, said Brian Miller, the PAIA’s West Coast chairman and president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading Co.
“The Peruvian suppliers are, of course, concerned about the recent market lows. However, with Easter just around the corner, the market is already showing signs of strengthening,” he said.
Price point and appropriate merchandising are two keys to marketing Peruvian grass at retail, Miller said.
“These two issues together play a key role in keeping asparagus appealing to consumers,” he said.