Thursday, January 29, 2009

Most recession resistant produce item

What is the most recession resistant produce commodity?

That's the question this week. Take your shot at the one-week poll, which I just put up today. Anthony Totta, a contributor in the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group, offers this observation:

Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots because they are storage crops and they are relatively less xpensive (more volume for the dollar) and they are used in so many roasts, soups, etc.

Here are numbers from November to make a case for several commodity options.

Bananas: Data from The Perishables Group indicates that the average price of bananas was 20% higher in November compared with year ago levels (65 cents/lb in 11/08), while the volume per week per store was off less than 1%. Dollars per store per week were up 19% compared with year ago levels.

Potatoes: November data from The Perishables Group shows that average prices were up a whopping 25%, with volume off only 1.5% and total dollars up 23%.

Lettuce: In November, average retail prices were up 1.2%, with volume up 0.3% and total dollars up 2.2%.

Apples: The numbers don't look quite as strong for apples, with the average price in November up 8.7%, the volume for the month off 6.4% and the total dollars up 1.7%.

Onions: Average prices were up 8.4% in November, with volume off 2.5% and total dollars 5.8% above year ago levels.

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