In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Sarah Ilyas evaluates the state of the strawberry market in the US. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.
The Strawberry Market is expected to witness significant growth in 2022. Increase in revenue generated so far has led to an increase in imports and has boosted acreage in California. Harvests in California have kicked off already and a 6.4% increase in acreage has been recorded compared to last year. “Fair weather has been contributing to some early production especially in Southern California, so we are currently ahead of 2021 and ahead of our three year average,” says Chris Christian, Senior Vice President of the California Strawberry Commission, which represents more than 300 strawberry farmers, shippers and processors. The peak volume recorded this season has been around 32 K tonnes, a 14 percent surge compared to the 28 K tonnes recorded in 2021.
Last year, California witnessed an unusually frigid winter, resulting in low volumes. The current season has seen fairly warm temperatures and earlier production. “Fair weather has been contributing to some early production especially in Southern California, so we are currently ahead of 2021 and ahead of our three year average,” Christian says. Peak production is expected at the end of March and early April. Prices in Weeks 11 and 12 ranged between $10.98 and $11.48 per package, compared to $13.72 and $14.91 per package a year ago during the same week, according to USDA data.
Bowery Farming, a Vertical farming firm recently launched a new “discovery” pack that features two vertically grown strawberry cultivars in juxtaposed compartments, the pack serves to depict the array of flavors that it’s R&D team can achieve. “Strawberries are the first phase of a strategic road map focused on bringing unique and genetically diverse fruiting and vine crops to communities across the U.S. and eventually the globe.” says Irving Fain, CEO & Founder of Bowery Farming. According to a report published by RaboResearch, U.S. strawberry consumption is continuing to grow, both in terms of household penetration and volume, and is facilitating an increase in imports as well as planted crops in California. The California Strawberry Commission has also been eagerly promoting the “Love, Strawberries” campaign. With 90 percent of the U.S. strawberry volume coming from California, the commission is confident this promotion will continue to foster consumer loyalty while connecting shoppers to the farmers, workers, and people behind the industry.
In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.
All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.
You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.
Written by: Sarah Ilyas