Growers Report A Tight Onion Market; Peri & Sons, Pacific Coast Trading Company, And LIV Organic Produce CommentMarch 19, 2020
UNITED STATES – Many fresh produce categories across the board are experiencing a lift in prices as heightened demand persists on both global and national stages and health concerns remain top of mind. One of those categories undergoing a price spike in the market is the onion sector, as consumers fill their baskets to the brim with fresh produce items.
With such an active market, I tapped some of the onion category’s leaders to give us the 411 on what the industry is experiencing.
Jessica Peri, Retail Sales Manager, Peri & Sons Farms“Supplies are good but demand is unprecedented,” Jessica Peri, Retail Sales Manager, Peri & Sons Farms, shares with me. “We are doing our best to fulfill orders and support our loyal retail partners.”
Currently, Peri & Sons is shipping supplies from its Yerington, Nevada, operations and will transition to El Centro, California, in late April.
Onion growers are facing a new challenge as national and global demands spike (Photo Credit: Peri & Sons)
“At some point, the market will return to normal. Consumers are nervous and stocking up, but there will be a time when everything will need to be consumed before needing to be replenished,” Jessica says. “This may take longer for onions since they store longer than other vegetables. Consumers will probably be increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables to maintain healthy immune systems.”
Scott Schultz, Director of National Organic Sales and Purchasing for the Pacific Coast Trading Company, echoes these category sentiments.
Scott Schultz, Director of National Organic Sales and Purchasing, Pacific Coast Trading Company“Currently, in Washington state alone, the market is seeing a 20 percent increase in price with demand exceeding supplies,” Scott shares with me as he takes the temperature on the nation at large. “We are working with our partners to address the market and the growing popularity of the category, especially during the current market dynamic.”
Jessica adds that she is hearing that stores are starting to limit quantities purchased at checkout. Hopefully, this will help restore a sense of calm with consumers that the store isn’t going to be completely empty when someone goes shopping for items they need, she notes.
LIV Organic Produce Co-Founder Anthony Innocenti has seen the market react to the current health concerns with COVID-19 impacting consumer buying behaviors as well. He adds that the temperature of the business must be taken day by day and sometimes hour by hour, while also anticipating the challenges ahead.
Anthony Innocenti, Co-Founder, LIV Organic Produce“We are striving to keep the produce department stocked and working closely with our customers to respond to demand and give their shoppers the best information,” Anthony says. “Meeting the demand of the consumer today is a challenge across multiple categories, there are not nearly enough supplies in the market including onions, and we want retailers to know that we have their best interest at heart along with their loyal shopper base as we proceed.”