Market Notes DECEMBER 29th, 2022






                                          “We get knocked down, but we get up again,

              You’re never gonna keep us down”-  Chumbawamba

  10)  COVID CONTINUES – The hospitals are no longer full, and the death rate from Covid is down and that’s great, but the virus still has impact.  Beside the impact of long-term health problems, covid remains an interruption for commerce. Many people are in and out of work due to mandatory quarantine enforced by employers. This adds up to the point where orders are not filled, trucks are not loaded, and the process slows down. The USA has probably reached saturation point for those who agree with vaccinations and those who do not will continue to slow the recovery process.   9)  COMMUNICATION– Used to be when you wanted to reach out by phone, the company line or direct office lines were first. Then, if all else failed we would try the cell/mobile phone.  That has completely reversed.  Cell/mobile phone has taken the first point of communication. Then, because the person is mobile, they will ask you to send a text or e-mail. Then you must call back to verify they got the e-mail. Then you can place an order, get and order, or get a pickup number. Convenience, well maybe, depending on which side you are on. Progress, no.   8)  INVENTORY/SUPPLY– Throughout the country, inventories are low.  In some cases, it is simply a catch-up game with existing labor as it can be found, while in other cases it is somewhat intentional. For many of our growers while there used to be an inventory to draw from, now, when we place orders, it is scheduled and harvested as needed. A function of lost labor a grower efficiency, abundant excess product is becoming a thing of the past.   7)  FINGERLING FRENZY – For the first time since we have been in business yellow fingerling potatoes experienced a severe shortage this year. A logical follow from the prior year where fingerling potatoes were cursed, and no one wanted them.  Then food service came back, and the demand soared. The shortage did more for the awareness of fingerling potatoes than any ads or marketing program we have ever seen. Popularity has grown and now that supply has balanced, we have a few new players. Supply and demand continue to drive the market, and that’s a good thing.   6)  POTATO CHANGES– This year two prominent potato growers on the west coast closed their doors permanently. Additionally, a dedicated specialty potato grower in Idaho transferred ownership and that program is in doubt as to the future of specialty potato development. The overall result of these closures and transfers means less product available, less supply.   5) FLAVOR PUNCH– We tasted the future of stone fruit this year and its name is Flavor Punch. Drilled down research shows the fruit to be a combination of plum, apricot, cherry, and peach. The combination is mystical in its flavor but the most unique thing about the Flavor Punch is that even when it is fully ripe, it eats like an apple.  This means extended shelf-life and easier travel. Talk about a super fruit, you know Andy’s is all over this. He won’t be the only one.   4) CRISPR – First there was GMO. Then we asked for labeling, but the manufacturers had such a strong lobby they said no and every other product in the world must be labeled non-GMO. Then there was a certification program to certify that your product was not GMO.  Enter Conscious Foods.  This company is dedicated to the idea that in produce, GMO is a wonderful thing, producing nutrient dense fruits and vegetables that will last longer in the consumers home along with fruits and veggies that don’t discolor when cut. This will be most interesting to watch as debates soar. Consumer acceptance remains unknown.   3) MOREL MANUFACTURING – Many have tried and died trying to recreate this tasty fungus. Not to say that this has not been done before, it has, but not with anything related to flavor or commercial success. That now seems to have changed. The Danish Morel Project has bypassed the USA patents and formulated processes to grow black, blonde, and gray morels indoors. Good yields in small, controlled atmosphere labs have proven commercial viability.  This, if it comes to fruition,  is a game changer.   2) NEW ORGANIC RULES – When the new rules are made official, they will state that even people who do not literally handle produce will be named as handlers so they can be charged.  What used to be about the earth and healthy eating has become a label to greed and expense. A year after the new rules are released, enforcement begins. Certifiers will make a quadruple profit on the exact same product, doing nothing to promote organic products and control fraud.  It is flat out greed by an industry who played the government.  Regenerative produce (what we called biotic) is now in their grasp, and they already have inspections and three levels of billing. The enforcements are draconian, and the plan is designed to make organics elite and charge more, more, more, even when processes like regenerative growing use less water and no pesticides, significantly reducing grower cost. The goal of organics now seems to be money for the regulators and making the label elite, with little to no advantage to the customer. Shame!   1)  VERTICAL FARMING – This is big. Vertical farming can make precision local growing without the necessity of proper soil and sunlight.  It will reduce carbon emissions significantly and will be a huge reduction transportation. It will free up land, encourage the growth of the robotic industry, and have a very positive impact on food safety. While transformation will incur cost, success can be achieved with smaller facilities so it is feasible for the smaller farmer who would go from seasonal to year-round production. This is happening right now in a medium way, but this year opened Pandora’s box and this new way of growing won’t be denied.  That is until the certifiers get their greedy hands on it. Buckle up!  


The answer to 12-15-2022s quiz is….PASSION FRUIT….Congrats to all Winners!

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702 Visit us at “like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook© Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020