My mission is to educate and train consumers and the produce industry with proven old school practices, marrying them with new world technology and metrics to facilitate  omni channel marketing of produce to the benefit of grower, wholesaler, retailer and consumer.

  • redpepperking

SPROUTS Say it's not true?

Good morning and Happy Sunday from New Braunfels Texas. My wife and I are here looking at what I hope to be the last place I ever live. My first though this week can be found in this article about Sprouts, speaking with Jack Sinclair their CEO.

If you have been following me for any length of time you know that Sprouts is one of my favorites because of the way the display, price and promote produce. I hope I am wrong, but it seems like Mr. Sinclair may be leaning towards changing their strategy, and maybe moving away from their value pricing? I hope I am wrong Mr. Sinclair because the reason your sales and profits are up is because of your value pricing in Produce. Remember my mantra “The battles for supermarket supremacy will be fought in grocery but the war will be won in fresh”.

Raising prices as Mr. Sinclair advocates is not the way forward and will take a company whom had the right idea with its pricing of produce, that generated and propelled its growth and changing it to the same old paradigm that others followed to failure. I have seen this time and time again, where a large chain buys up a successful smaller or ethnic chain and instead of learning from them, they change them into the larger chains format which leads to less sales and profits. The other scenario, which racks my brain is when a failed retail chain’s management team gets hired by a competitor to implement those failed practices.

Sprouts is looking for a way forward in sourcing it’s produce is a simple one to fix that will increase their profits as well as keep their value pricing but will require a paradigm shift in their thinking. BUY within the markets natural supply and demand cycles, it is that simple! This is such an easy concept that has been lost over the last 20 years. If you don’t think its simple you don’t have the right produce people in your organization. Sprouts and its customers as well as their grower partners all benefit. No need to reinvent the wheel here but maybe time to change the tire.


RED PEPPERS California red peppers are very short, and demand exceeds supply. We are about 2 weeks away from Coachella reds and about 3 weeks away from Mexican reds. There still seems to be good supplies on greenhouse blocky reds and that market has finally moved a little higher on increased demand.

Last year at this time peppers were red hot, due mostly to the same short supply from California but more importantly there were no greenhouse peppers from Mexico. This year is very different. It seems to me at this point in time that the volume of pepper planting has increased dramatically, this could be due to the decrease in plantings of tomatoes and the growers planted peppers instead. It is not looking like a good year for pepper pricing.

YELLOW PEPPERS. It looks like the blocky variety is the way to go and still reasonably priced at $9-$11 Fob

GREEN PEPPERS- It seems like every time the market has a chance to move higher it falls on its face, this may be a different week. We have a new month with fresh demand which may stabilize this market, the caveat Mexican green peppers will come to market this week as well.

GREEN SQUASH The Mexican market has firmed and has moved slightly higher, same with GREY SQUASH. Yellow squash is still under pressure but may also change soon

CUCUMBERS. – This market has been cruising along unchanged, demand is good prices remain stable.

TOMATOES – I hope you retailers read my posting on the suspension agreement and all of you not in Florida call your Congressman and Senators and get the government out of produce? If you don’t do it now you will be sorry later, trust me on this. It’s not dumping its produce!

AVOCADOS Lots of 60’s cheap. All around just a lot of avocados and Prices remain reasonable.

CRENSHAW MELONS – We are shipping from New Mexico. Sugar Sweet ready to eat. Come and get them.

ORGANIC RAPINI – We will be ready to ship in 2/3 weeks just in time for Thanksgiving and right into the New Year. Pictures are of the Rapini and the field.

Here are 2 of my 3 articles in Produce business magazine. There is not a link for the October issue yet, I will post it as soon as it is available

Thank you and have a great day!!

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