Skip to main content

Increased demand for packaged pears

Overview of the Washington and California pear season by Catherine Gipe-Stewart of Superfresh Growers and Scott Fraser of Scully Packing, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.

Original published in on September 15, 2020 

U.S. pear growers anticipate good demand on the 2020 crop of fruit.

“This year’s crop is similar to last year’s within a percent or two at a projected 16.6 million boxes,” says Cat Gipe-Stewart with Domex Superfresh Growers Inc. in Yakima, WA. “The sizing is about the same as last year, maybe one size up. The quality is good but it will be weather-dependent.”

Volumes (in LB) of pear from Washington in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Harvest for the crop began a week earlier than normal in early August. “We had a cooler spring which slowed things a little but then we had a hot summer. So it all averaged out,” says Gipe-Stewart. She notes that harvesting has finished on summer pears, Bartlett and Starkrimson, and Domex is well into the harvest of its winter pears, Anjou and Bosc (both organic and conventional).

Organic volume also growing

Gipe-Stewart notes that Domex sells 36 percent of the state’s organic crop. “The fall organic crop looks pretty good. We do have more organic Asian pears because we’re gaining more growers. It’s not a giant volume like Bartletts and Anjous but for Asian pears it will be good,” she says. “We saw such a great uptick in cherries this summer that we think people are looking for something unique and full of flavor. Asian pears are that niche market and that helps people find excitement when people are stuck at home.”

As for pear demand, Gipe-Stewart anticipates solid demand. “This summer we also saw 24 percent uptick in shipments,” she says. “People are also still in that COVID mindset in case there’s another wave, they want to be prepared.”

And while in late July pear demand had dipped somewhat to two percent growth in dollars (largely attributed to slim supplies at the time), Gipe-Stewart notes that the fall season is off to a solid start. “Despite the category dipping, Bartlett pears have held their own, up 19 percent in dollars and 14 percent in volume. This bodes well for the Pacific Northwest crop,” she says.

Prices (in USD) of pears from Washington in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

More packaged pears

Consumers are also likely to have a continued interest in packaged pears thanks to perceived food safety. “With pears, about 25 percent of our overall pear volume is packaged and before COVID-19, it was about 18 percent,” says Gipe-Stewart. “It’s still lower than packaged apples. And it’s not just about food safety—it’s also the “grab and go” factor. Online sales are also where packaged pears are sold.”

Looking ahead, given the year that’s been dominated by COVID-19 and all of its associated unpleasantness, including quarantining, Gipe-Stewart says that people are already looking forward to the holidays. “We think there’s a lot of opportunities for promotions around the holidays,” she says.

Meanwhile in California, supplies are good of both Bartlett and Bosc pears as well as organic Bartletts and organic Boscs, says Scott Fraser of Scully Packing in Finley, CA, who adds that they are also packing Comice, French Butter and Seckels this week. “We’ve experienced good quality conditions this season,” says Fraser.

Regional differences

This follows a full 2019 California crop in the various state’s districts including the Sacramento River, Mendocino and Lake County or Mountain districts. “This year we experienced a very short crop off the Sacramento district and a normal crop in the Mountain district,” adds Fraser.

While the pear season began in California about a week later than normal, Fraser says Scully just finished its Bartlett harvest last week and are still packing Bosc. “We’ll wrap up harvesting in about a week. We will be shipping pears through the end of October and into November,” he says.

Volumes (in LB) of pears from California in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Meanwhile he says demand for California pears has been good with steady pricing. “Prices are higher than normal due to the reduced industry crop,” he says. “September and October are typically some of the best months for pear sales. We typically see an increase in demand with back-to-school shoppers. Also, some retailers change their produce displays during the fall to promote pears.”

Prices (in USD) of pears from California in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

Access the original article with this (Link)

Popular posts from this blog

Agronometrics in Charts: Demand for berries skyrockets in 2021

This time for the ‘In Charts’ series we will give an update as to how the average prices of berries have been behaving. Specifically, we will look at the prices of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries in the United States market and compare them with previous seasons. An increase in demand, brought on by the tendency to consume “superfoods” such as berries during the Covid-19 pandemic, seem to have pushed prices up despite the fact that volumes imported by the United States have been similar or higher than those of previous years. Let's look at each particular case: Blueberries Blueberry prices experienced a significant increase from week 3 of 2021, showing the highest prices of the last 5 seasons for the same date. If we observe the following chart, we can see that, for week 7 of 2021, the average price of conventional blueberries was $7.60 per kilo. This is 24 percent higher than in 2020 when the average price was $6.14 per kilo. Volumes for blueberr

Peru's blueberry oversupply takes its toll on export price

Overview of the Peruvian blueberry season, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.   Original published in   on November 25, 2020  This year's Peruvian blueberry season began in June with the export of 1,010 tons worth 5 million dollars. These figures represented a 25% increase in volume and a 77% increase in value over the same month of 2019. The lower production in the northern hemisphere due to weather problems allowed producers to achieve attractive prices of $ 5.15 per kilogram in June. Volume (in Kg) of blueberry from Perú in the US market Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics . (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here ) The good reception of Peruvian blueberries and the increase in prices encouraged exports during July, a month in which the country shipped 4,808 tons (+ 108%) for 26 million dollars (+ 102%). In this month, the increase in the Peruvian supply generated a slight 3% fall in the typical prices of the month,

Tight raspberry volumes make for more “normal” pricing

Overview of the raspberry supply by Ben Escoe of Twin River Berries, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published in   on May 12, 2021  “They’re starting to pick up, but it’s been tight--really tight,” says Ben Escoe of Twin River Berries in Portland, OR, noting this largely has to do with the weather conditions in Mexico. “It’s been cold and windy there which has caused damage in the fields and contributed to the low supply. Year over year, the volume is comparable or even better. But demand is high and forecast to actual supply has been lower.” Mexico grows raspberries for most of the year, stopping only for the rainy season which begins at the end of June or early July. Meanwhile California’s volume won’t really begin until the middle to the end of May. Volumes (in Kg) of raspberries from Mexico in the US Market​ Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics . (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here ) Higher berry deman