Yuma cold? I'mma going broke!

One of my sales reps just phoned me to give a heads up on skyrocketing produce prices. Yuma vegetable crops hit by freezing temperatures. Lettuce and green peppers appear to be headed for big increases in the coming weeks.

'Cause, you know, wheat and dairy futures weren’t already hammering us enough.

My green peppers went from $15/case last week to $37/case this week. tomatoes went up $20/case also. Man, we can’t catch a break. Flour, cheese and now produce.

Sysco sent me a pre-printed flyer to post for our customers explaining that we might have to discontinue certain menu items because of the big freeze.

If prices go up as they are predicted, our salads alone will be at a 80-90% food cost.

Do you stop selling salads or ride the tide until prices fall again?

Also, the last time this happened, our romaine hearts looked like crud — were half the size and browned on the edges. Terrible quality at twice the price.


For me its easy… Once it exceeds 60% FC (salads), its no longer available. Its not available sooner if the quality is eroded. While it hasn’t happened yet, if it does, I’ll discontinue it in a heartbeat. I suspect customers will understand since they’ll experience the same at their local grocery.

All too familiar. Here’s what I got from one of my main suppliers just today…read it and weep I guess. The bad part is, salads are like 20% of our menu sales!

"River Ranch has been forced to instill a price hike on processed lettuce products again.

All 4X5 iceberg products will see a $2.00 per case increase which will also include iceberg/romaine blends (0118023). Chopped romaine 6X2 (0122007) will see a $3.00 per case increase. Most other major processors, like Dole, started these price increases a week ago.

Below is a sample of what to expect with Monday’s arrival from the west coast.

0117008 medium green peppers…we will not get medium bells. We will get large bells with a landed cost of about $51.00.

0117024 red choppers….landed cost of about $34.00.

0117028 green choppers….landed cost of about $53.00.

0114008 super cucs……landed cost of about $42.00.

0113008 celery……landed cost of about $38.00.

Our orders are currently being prorated, as are all company’s nationwide, so we are not going to receive all that we order. This is just a reality of the produce industry right now and a very important message that our customers should be aware of. "

Truthfully, the product we got in over the last week is substandard all ready. I can’t wait to see what’s coming down the pike over the coming month!

my salads are a little on the expensive side and not top seller so this isn`t effecte me so much.I did want to run a special with a family salad but that will have to wait.I use shredded lettuce for my taco pizza which is a top seller and it hasnt went up yet.

For what it’s worth —

we’re saving between $10 and $16 a case by purchasing our romaine hearts from our local Albertson’s grocery store instead of through our food distributors.

A bit dirtier, and need more attention in prep, but worth it if you’re seeing your bottom line hurt.