As we head into the final days of winter, we try to savor those last sweet tastes of citrus. The good news on the citrus front is the Orri mandarin from Israel is just coming into season! This mandarin has an especially long ripening period and extended shelf life. To top it off, it is a late-season variety. Its season typically begins in January and ends in May. Just as we see other types of easy-peel mandarins seasons end, the so-called “king of mandarins” is there to fill the void.
The Orri Jaffa comes from growers in Israel. Although it has only been commercially grown for ten years, it has been decades in the making. Developed by scientists at the Israel Volcani Research Center, this project was started in 1989 as a collaborative effort. The extensive research was led by leading citrus breeders and botanists of the time. The Orri has continually gained popularity and high praise since it hit the market. Mandarins have only increased in popularity over the years. It’s easy to see why. Mandarins, in general, are a healthy and easy snack at any time of the year but especially during our coldest months.
As February comes to a close, Westlake is happy to promote the Orri Jaffa mandarin to our customers. As the old saying goes, “We’ve saved the best for last.” The late-season Orri mandarin has an excellent fresh and sweet flavor while bearing practically no seeds in an easy to peel skin. Even competitors agree it’s a top-notch mandarin! They are rich in antioxidants, high in fiber, and boast loads of vitamin C and A. Citrus lovers can’t get enough of the Orri mandarin flavor that is booming with sweetness and a hint of spicy aroma.
Just one bite from a juicy Jaffa Orri and you’re sold! A burst of aroma blends into its distinct delicious taste, creating an uplifting experience you’ll want time and again!
Apples & Pears
There are great promotional opportunities on apples out of the Pacific Northwest! Some of the available varietals are Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp. We have Ad volume to back up promotable price points. Also, due to the size profile of the fruit this season, there are good volumes of bag apples in these same varieties. We will see this continued availability through May and into summer!
In Westlake tropical news, we are seeing a slow down in pricing with limes. There is more supply of smaller sizes, such as 200s/230s coming into the US. Our growers out of Veracruz and Oaxaca are expected to pick only two to three times this week due to forecasted rain. However, this should not stop Mexico from shipping limes into the market.
Pineapples from Costa Rica are limited in larger sizes and becoming less available. We believe because of lower imports. Smaller sizes are available.
Mangoes continue to be harvested and packed out of Peru and Mexico. Guatemala is just getting ready to start its season. We are seeing a 3 to 1 ratio of Kent mangoes to Honey mangoes.
Westlake has the Orri Jaffa mandarin available this week from Israel. Reports from our growers have been positive. We are seeing the fruit to be of excellent flavor and appearance! Call Westlake for pricing and availability!
Citrus is still going strong! Westlake has some wonderful large navels and Cara Caras available. They don’t just look fantastic, but they are eating great! There are good deals to be promoted in ads. The Cara Caras are peaking at 72s and 88s. Call us now for deals!
Lemons are in excellent supply, peaking at 115s and larger. We expect the demand to increase with Lent coming. Westlake has plenty of product available to promote!
Minneolas Tangelos are very promotable right now! They fill in the gap nicely of bulk tangerines and mandarins. Westlake has plenty of size 100s and 80s for retail needs. They are a nice bright orange with a tangy flavor!
We are seeing the last week of crossings into the US with the Mexican Honey Tangerines. They should be wrapped up this week.
The Florida Honey Tangerine supply will continue to ship into California with limited volume. Call us for availability. Orri mandarins from Israel are expected on the East Coast this week. We will see them arrive on the West Coast next week. Westlake will keep you posted on these tangerines!
Potato & Onion
There is not much change in the potato market this week. The russet market has leveled off for now. However, the supplies remain tight. Our growers in Florida have started packing new crop white, yellow, and red potatoes. Most of our growers in Washington and California have finished white potatoes for the season. The red and yellow potato market remains steady, and we are seeing the white potato market getting stronger. Westlake is a leader in the potato market and can offer the best of what is available!
Pasilla peppers and Cactus leaf will be in demand as we get closer to Lent. We have plenty available. Please call us for pricing!
Cactus is a great meatless alternative, not just during Lent.
We are seeing a slight dip in the price of strawberries this week, while there is an increase in supply! The temperatures in Baja, Mexico have still been cold at night, but we are seeing a warm-up during the daytime hours. Meanwhile, there has been extreme heat in Central Mexico, which can lead to softer pricing. Florida is also experiencing some tricky weather conditions, leading to a slightly unstable strawberry market.
Stay tuned for more information on the strawberries from Santa Maria as they began their season!
Blueberries from Mexico are very limited due to light supplies. Chile and Peru are also following this trend. Westlake is predicting pricing to remain in the mid-20s and may increase up to the low 40s, depending on the pack style.
There hasn’t been much change with blackberries out of Mexico. Prices remain constant in the teens to single digits depending on the quality.
Please call Westlake for more information on availability and pricing on all our berries!
Get ready to push yellow dragon fruit for promotions! Westlake has plenty of yellow and white dragon fruit coming into the US from Ecuador this week and the next few weeks! These fruits not only taste sweet and juicy, but their vibrant color makes them look fantastic in ads and on the shelf! Call us now to order your 5lb or 10lb boxes!
Westlake has lots of organic offerings, but please check out our organic berries and available citrus while supplies last!
Mexico continues to drive the price of avocados up. Yet they are shipping plenty of fruit into the U.S. market. However, these high prices are an incentive for California growers to starting harvesting and capitalize on the current avocado market. Stay tuned for more information as Westlake monitors this situation.