Produce prices jump after cold snap - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Produce prices jump after cold snap

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We've all heard the expression 'What's that got to do with the price of tea in China?'  but when weather half a world away drives what you can buy at the local supermarket, that old phrase never rings truer.

"It affects the customer just because they might second-guess themselves in what they're going to buy," Justin Glover said.  "They might go towards a lesser-end apple, you know, rather than a better eating apple."

Walt Churchill's Market in Maumee buys local when possible but a global economy means more variety and a longer season on the shelves.  Still, Produce Director Justin Glover says drought in California will cause stores to come down hard, as crops come to market.

"Mostly broccoli and lettuces that actually what I've seen, their prices are going to skyrocket this year."

Customers gladly pay a touch more for handmade, artisan food like Churchill's soups and cut fruit.

"I actually like the good variety here and the pre-made stuff is good for me, especially when I'm here on my lunch hour, just picking up a quick lunch after a workout," customer Joseph Ceglio said.

While some Florida citrus are a little bit smaller in size due to cooler temperatures down south, other products like asparagus are now half the price that they were; a big sale due to warmer air in Mexico.

"That 48 count is that nice size, eye grabbing orange.  That used to be the big promotable orange for us, where, you know we might be able to do the three for two dollar price range, but this year it's hard to stay under the dollar price point."

It's not just cost of produce that bears watching.  Food for beef is also becoming pricier, since that food was also burdened by drought.

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