News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Liam O'Callaghan

BY LIAM O'CALLAGHAN

Monday 22nd November 2021, 22:46 Central Time

Late-season promise for California grapes

US retail commits to domestic product over imports while exports have fared well

Late-season promise for California grapes

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The California table grape season is on track for a strong finish with sufficient volume to supply domestic and export markets into 2022.

Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission, said promotable volume will be available through December and retail promotion and consumer advertising will continue through year-end in the US and in Canada, Mexico, and other key export markets.

California typically ships grapes throughout the US and to multiple export markets into January and this year looks to be no different.

“The US is a good market for California grapes and even better this season in terms of demand and price than it has been in recent years,” Nave said.

Nave noted a commitment from US retail to stick with California through December – as opposed to focusing on imported grapes – remains strong and added that Canada, Mexico, and Central America have all been particularly good markets this season with exports to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan steady, in spite of the worldwide shipping issues.

In the US and Canada, Nave said late-season retail promotions include sales contests, retailer tagged media support, and retail dietitian consumer-based outreach programmes; advertising on digital television, social media platforms, digital and terrestrial radio, and shopping apps are part of the mix.

Advertising is set to continue in December in Mexico and key markets in Central America, with retail promotions scheduled in those export markets and multiple others.

According to Nave, the 2021 crop volume has been tracking close to that of 2020 for most of the season. The 2020 crop volume was 101.1m boxes (19lbs) with 20m boxes shipped after 15 November.

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