Saturday, March 05, 2011

Produce Prices: Yikes!

If it's from California, Arizona or Northern Mexico it's expensive.

Any produce shopper would have difficulty not noticing high prices of fruits and veggies from California and the Southwest.

Lettuce in particular has been hard-hit. Three weeks ago I paid $1 for a head at Iovine Brothers Produce. Today it was $3.99. A trade publication, The Produce News, said production "continues to be hampered" by weather problems": cold, wet and rainy weather in December  combined with more rain and cold temperatures over the past several weeks. Other lettuces and vegetables grown in the area are similarly afflicted.

The price pressure extended to South America: seedless green and black grapes which last week sold for $1.99/pound are now $2.49 and $2.99. Limes, from Mexico, are 99 cents apiece.

Some California crops are only minimally affected by the weather, including strawberries and oranges, though Florida production is more trouble-free and less pricey.

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