Time for Chain Stores to be Part of the Solution
Produce is over produced in this country to the point you need something bad somewhere to happen to get a decent return on what is grown. The chain stores are the worst marketers of produce as related to production in this country. When the growers need to move product because of an over abundance the retail chains do not lower their prices accordingly to move more produce to consumers at discount prices. They not I are under the impression that consumers will not buy more when they charge less. My argument is you are in competition with cheap food and people want to eat healthy so when you can feed a family of 4 with a few boxes of Mac and cheese for a couple of bucks or buy a head of Broccoli for $3 they go for the cheap and unhealthy alternative. I have seen countless times produce being sold for a few dollars fob and could have retailed for example $.39 a pound or each and was literally being sold for $2.49 at maybe a 300%-400% markup.This does not help the growers help move the product, consumers who can buy the product and the stores that could have sold more product at a lower prices and most likely with less shrink and a better bottom line. Produce is truly a supply and demand market when there is an overabundance prices should be reasonable to the consumer but more often than not they don't change this includes the big box stores. In the NY area we have many green grocers that do pass this over supply onto the consumers but unfortunately many areas of the country don't have this luxury and there are not enough of them to offset the damage of the larger chains. I can tell you in this area our green grocers kick the chains butt everyday as compared to price, quality and volume. They are half or less their size and can do three or four times the volume. It is the time for the 800 pound gorilla in our industry to do their part and bring more fresh produce to consumers at prices that are in line with production and over production. In this way grower/ shipper, consumers as well as retail chains will benefit.