“It’s at a record high right now, and there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what’s going on in the market,” he said.
“They’re harvesting and packing in California, but the real impact is what’s happening in China.”
Garlic’s versatility, along with some value-added options, are helping to feed its sales growth, according to several grower-shippers.
“Fresh garlic, with skins on it, is fairly steady business year in, year out,” said Patsy Ross, vice president of marketing with Gilroy, Calif.-based grower-shipper Christopher Ranch.
“I’d say the peeled garlic continues to grow both at retail and foodservice. Also, garlic has an increased interest at the ingredient level, where a soup or salad company wants to use garlic as a flavoring component.”
Fresh garlic also has developed a strong following at retail and in foodservice, she added.
“In years past, it pretty much was a dehydrated powder if they wanted,” Ross said.
“A lot of food processors have discovered they can use less garlic as fresh.”