Tag Archives: grocery stores

grocery

Expect to Pay More for Certain Groceries

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores and to pay higher prices for those items. Professor Timothy Richards of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University recently completed some research on which crops will likely be most affected and what the price boosts might be.

“You’re probably going to see the biggest produce price increases on avocados, berries, broccoli, grapes, lettuce, melons, peppers, tomatoes and packaged salads,” says Richards, the Morrison Chair at the Morrison School of Agribusiness within the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We can expect to see the biggest percentage jumps in prices for avocados and lettuce – 28 percent and 34 percent, respectively. People are the least price-sensitive when it comes to those items, and they’re more willing to pay what it takes to get them.”

Industry estimates range from a half-million to 1 million acres of agricultural land likely to be affected by the current California drought. Richards believes between 10 and 20 percent of the supply of certain crops could be lost, and California is the biggest national supplier of several of those crops. For avocados, the state is the only major domestic source.

Richards used retail-sales data from the Nielsen Perishables Group, an industry analytics and consulting firm, to estimate price elasticities – how much the prices might vary – for the fruit and vegetable crops most likely to be affected by the drought. Those most vulnerable are the crops that use the most water and simply won’t be grown, or those sensitive to reductions in irrigation.

He estimates the following possible price increases due to the drought:

* Avocados likely to go up 17 to 35 cents to as much as $1.60 each.
* Berries likely to rise 21 to 43 cents to as much as $3.46 per clamshell container.
* Broccoli likely to go up 20 to 40 cents to a possible $2.18 per pound.
* Grapes likely to rise 26 to 50 cents to a possible $2.93 per pound.
* Lettuce likely to rise 31 to 62 cents to as much as $2.44 per head.
* Packaged salad likely to go up 17 to 34 cents to a possible $3.03 per bag.
* Peppers likely to go up 18 to 35 cents to a possible $2.48 per pound.
* Tomatoes likely to rise 22 to 45 cents to a possible $2.84 per pound.

“We predict the increased prices will change consumer purchasing behavior,” says Sherry Frey, vice president of Nielsen Perishables Group. “We’ve identified certain consumers who will be more heavily affected by the price increases — for example, younger consumers of avocados. In addition, there is a larger department and store impact retailers will need to manage. While some consumers will pay the increased prices, others will substitute or leave the category completely. And, for a category like avocados, there are non-produce snacking categories, such as chips, crackers and ethnic grocery items, that will be negatively impacted.”

Richards adds, “One other thing for shoppers to understand — Because prices are going to go up so much, retailers will start looking elsewhere for produce. This means we’ll see a lot more imports from places like Chile and Mexico, which may be an issue for certain grocery customers who want domestic fruit and vegetables.”

foodbank

Buck Truck Adds Substance to Food Drives

Tempe, nonprofit, crowd-funding, grocery stores, farmers, donate perishable food items, Buck Truck, Tempe Leadership, United Food Bank, Mesa, Ed Baker, Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Pino, Arizona

A Tempe-based nonprofit is utilizing the power of crowd-funding to enable grocery stores and farmers to donate perishable food items.

Buck Truck, a project of this year’s Tempe Leadership team, is accepting donations for refrigerated delivery trucks to the United Food Bank in Mesa.

The United Food Bank currently relies on donations from canned-food drives and retailers.  The donations from retailers are limited, however, as the United Food Bank lacks the ability to transport food that requires refrigeration for freshness.

“You want to provide the best food to those you’re trying to help,” said Ed Baker, a member of this year’s Tempe Leadership team. “The best foods for people to live a healthy life are fresh, perishable foods.”

The Tempe Leadership Program, a product of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, has been around since 1985 and each year puts together a team of community-centric individuals for nine months to engage in a project that can cover a range of community services.

“When we sat down to decide what our project would be, it was brought up that United Food Bank has a difficult time accepting fresh food,” Baker said. “We thought, ‘If only we could get 10 or 15 people to donate for a refrigerated truck.’”

The final decision was the concept of Buck Truck, to which contributors are encouraged to donate $1, $10 or $15.

The goal is to raise $41,000 for trucks that can “deliver fresh vegetables and meats from local farmers, ranchers, suppliers and grocery stores” as opposed to non-perishable items typically collected by charities in canned-food drives.

The Buck Truck website states that the refrigerated food truck will allow 24,000 pounds of what previously would have been wasted food to be distributed monthly, which it notes equates to 20,000 fresh meals.

“Buck Truck is very important because it will allow us to provide fresh produce and lean protein to our 200 partners,” said Lisa Pino, president and CEO of United Food Bank. “It’s the food you need for a healthy, adequate diet.”

The importance of Buck Truck is not only to increase the quality of food being served to those in need, but also the quantity, as Arizona is currently scarce in resources to serve what she explained is one of the hungriest states in the country, said Pino.

“The Buck Truck is nimble and responsive to Arizona’s hunger needs,” she said.

Arizona is tied as the worst state for childhood hunger, and is fifth worst in food insecurity (limited access to adequate food sources), according to statistics cited on the United Food Bank website.

As well as helping absolve statewide hunger, Pino noted a collateral benefit of Buck Truck is also contributing to helping reduce food waste.

“A theme of sustainability is key for us,” Pino said. “We want to eliminate food waste and engage more young people on the issue.”