July 2006

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Produce News

Coming Soon/Last Chance

by Andy Johnston, Produce Manager

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and all the local fruits and veggies that come with the season. By now, many of you have probably noticed the “Coming Soon/Last Chance” board located on the top of the island cooler in the produce aisle. This board was created to give customers some insight on produce seasonality to help plan purchases and provide you with a more enjoyable shopping experience. We’ve received some great feedback from customers saying they love the board and can’t wait for a particular product to arrive. The board has also generated its share of confusion,
so here’s a quick guide on how to use it!

Coming soon

Each side of the board will contain eight items that are either expected to be available or unavailable for our produce buyers to purchase for display on the aisle. Next to each item on the side of the board labeled “Coming Soon” will be a small box. If the box is empty, this means the product is currently unavailable from our sources. If there is a red checkmark in the box, the product is available and should be in the produce aisle. Of course, there is the slight possibility that if a box is checked, we may have run out of the product temporarily. This is especially true of seasonal fruits. When these items first come on the market, supplies are usually limited and availability from vendors can be inconsistent.

So, if the box is not checked, we will not currently have that product. Odds are, if the box has a big red checkmark, we’ve got it! And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask the produce staff.

Last chance

This side of the board has generated much less confusion than the other. It’s pretty self-explanatory! This side contains eight items that are at the end of their season and will be unavailable shortly from our sources. Once there is a red line through the product, you will no longer find it on the aisle. You may want to stock up on an item you’re particularly fond of, or items that will be going up in price once their counterparts are gone (apples and potatoes for instance)!

In May, we had New Crop Potatoes listed on the “Coming Soon” side, and Local Storage Potatoes listed as a “Last Chance” item. The “Last Chance” potatoes were selling for $2.89/5lb. bag. When the “Coming Soon” potatoes from California arrived, they retailed for over $8.00/5lb. bag—ouch! New crop apple prices from Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand also soared as they do every year. As fuel prices continue to go up, we can expect to pay more for these items each year.

So, use the “Last Chance/Coming Soon” boards to get excited about the arrival of your favorite items, and, if you’re the savvy type, use it to save yourself some bucks! Whichever you choose, we hope it helps and appreciate your support of local and organic products!