Westlake Weekly Update 8.5.20
Featured Item: W. Murcott from Peru
We have some amazing hybrid fruits out there today. The agricultural business does some crazy cool stuff to bring us special varieties of apples, melons, and citrus, among other things. Scientists working alongside farmers carefully pollinate, for example, one variety with another and ….BAM we get a new better apple! But sometimes, nature does it for us. Take for instance the W. Murcott or Afourer, not to be confused with a Murcott. This new and special variety possibly came about from Walter Tennyson Swingle’s efforts to produce a novel citrus hybrid. He was a citrus pioneer and hall of fame recipient. The W. Murcott was derived from a Murcott seedling and an unknown “father.” The result was a perfect piece of citrus.
The W. Murcott is an easy peeler, a must for fruit snackers, and segments easily. Its rind is a deep vibrant orange color with a pebbly texture. The flesh inside is bright orange and incredibly sweet and seedless! Whoever the other parent may be, the resulting fruit is a winner.
It’s interesting to note that in order for the W.Murcott to remain seedless, it must not cross-pollinate. Growers go to great lengths to keep the fields separated and netted to avoid seeding this variety. Our growers in Peru, are one of few that have successfully trapped the fields so that we may offer you a truly seedless piece of citrus this summer.
The W. Murcotts are coming into port and immediately selling out fast. The demand currently exceeds supply, so don’t wait to order. Call us for more information and pricing for this preferred citrus specialty. Regardless of its unknown parentage, the W. Murcott has found a strong loving place on our grocery shelves and in our homes.
Westlake has a lot to offer on the citrus front. For instance, our bagged mandarins continue to be the big mover in the retail sector. We are seeing a lighter supply of fruit for bags as the Clementine variety from Peru and Chile wind down. The first baggable Murcotts from Peru started to arrive last week. The fruit that was received is of excellent quality. Expect to have demand exceed supply as we get started on this variety and the coming weeks. Mandarins from our growers from Chile will also start to arrive mid-August at the earliest.
As for bulk varieties, W.Murcott mandarins and Tango mandarins are moving very well. Supply is selling out as soon as the fruit is devanned from the port. The peak size on bulk mandarins has been the 60s and 50s, followed by the 70s. The fruit is looking and eating great. All packed in 10kg cartons with retail PLU. The mandarin supply will be promotable starting next week, it is a fantastic item to promote during August.
Minneola Tangelos are also in good supply and the fruit is very nice. The size is peaking on the 36s, followed by the 30s and 45s. These are all packed in 22 lb cartons. The fruit is tasting great and has excellent juice content. We have a promotable supply now available. We expect the supply to continue to be available through August.
Daisy tangerines from Australia remain available. We will have supply available for another two weeks. Demand has been excellent in this variety. The fruit appearance and color are always eye-catching. They look fantastic on displays. Call us for your continued supply.
California Navel oranges are finished packing for the season. Some supply of California fruit remains in the supply chain, but most receivers now are making the switch to the import supply. Chilean navels began to arrive in the last couple of weeks with very good quality. The sizes currently available are 56s, 48s, and 72s.
Australia navels are also available! The eating quality and appearance are outstanding. They are peaking on the 56s and 64s in the new 18kg pack, while the 16kg pack will peak on 48s, the 40s, and 56s.
As for the domestic California Valencia oranges, they continue to move very well during this time. The quality has been good overall with orders taking all fancy and choice grade oranges. They are peaking on sizes 72s, 56s, and 88s. We anticipate the smaller fruit will become limited in the coming weeks as the fruit will continue to grow and size up. Choice grade fruit continues to hold up well and looks good, even with all the summer heat.
California lemon production is now all of Southern California from Ventura and San Diego counties. The size continues to peak on the 95s and 115s. Chilean and Mexican lemons are also making their way into the US. Westlake is able to sustain good retail promotions and foodservice supply during the summer. Offshore lemons from Chile are keeping up with a good supply of 140s and larger, while Mexico is peaking on 140s and smaller. We have good availability of choice grade. Lemons will continue to be available for your summer lemonade and weekend stay at home cookouts!
Grapefruit sales continue to be strong. Star grapefruit has finished up this week. We now have a supply of the Marsh pink grapefruit ready for the remainder of the California season. The sizes are peaking on the 40s and 48s, followed by the 36s. There is a very limited supply of the 32s and larger. The California supply will go through early or mid-September before making the switch to Florida and Texas.
As the summer heats up, so do our peppers! We currently have the following peppers available:
- Red Fresno
Westlake has new pear crops available from our growers in California. We have a great range for your specific needs.
- Starkrimson pears
- Green Bartlett
- Golden Russet Bosc
- Forelle Pears
- Seckel Pears