Weather extremes throughout the country have affected fruit supplies in markets supplied by Kentucky and Tennessee distributors this year.
Kenny Pendergrass, vice president of purchasing at Dixie Produce, Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn., said peach deals, for instance, started several weeks late this spring.
Spring watermelon deals weren’t any better. Prices were high, Pendergrass said, and it was hard to find product — particularly at a time when retailers are looking to promote.
“Memorial Day was terrible for watermelons.”
Melons were off by about 50% over the holiday, he said.
Fortunately, by the beginning of summer, some degree of normalcy was returning to fruit markets.
“Watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, blueberries — it’s kind of getting back to normal,” Pendergrass said.