A tricky ’23 spring-summer grape outlook

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A tricky ’23 spring-summer grape outlook

“I wish I had a crystal ball,” Carlos Bon told FreshFruitPortal on his outlook for the summer 2023 grape supply and market.

But Bon, who is the vice president of sales for Divine Flavor, Inc., based in Nogales, AZ, added: "I think we have a clear idea. First of all, technically, it’s spring and summer. It’s going to be, arguably, the trickiest May we’ve ever seen in grape supply. Chile started early. Brazil had rain. The second harvest of Peru had rain, and Sonora is going to start really late. Jalisco, of all the growing areas which represent the months of April and May, is actually the only area that is going very well. Jalisco is still an ongoing project, and it’s not nearly enough to supply the volume which is required to service our markets so it’s going to be an uncomfortable May where grapes will be hard to find.”

Bon says prices are going to be higher than normal for both green and red.

Red, arguably is going to be tougher. In Sonora, greens start significantly earlier than the reds do. Once we get into the last days of May and the first days of June, volume is going to start more out of Sonora. But June should be a great month in terms of volume to regain a lot of steam.

“There are going to be a ton of promotional opportunities with all kinds of varieties or organic and conventional, with the candy line and specialties, as well as regular red, green, and black grapes,” said Bon.

Bon says, “It’s going to be important for us to communicate with our customers and work together to try and get back sales we lost in May both as a grower and retailer. It’s going to be key to pinpoint the right week and the right price point to get that back."

He added, "It’s going to be a little tricky too because the first week of July could be short on supply. We are also the largest grower in the late part of Mexico and we do have strong volumes there but we feel the early California, the early San Joaquin valley has been delayed because weather has been cooler and a lot more rain so there is going to be an opportunity to sell more grapes, especially because our late season grapes are always the best grapes, but in summary, I don’t think it’s going to be the easiest transition this year from Mexico to California.”

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