What's Up with Limes?

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Is the lime display at your local grocery store smaller than usual?  Maybe non-existent?

Is your local taco stop serving lemon wedges with its carne asada?

Well, limes are incredibly tight right now.

One thing all consumers need to remember is that fresh produce is grown, not manufactured.  When there is a shortage, it is almost always tied to poor weather/growing conditions…. and that’s exactly what happened in Mexico this Spring & it’s really affecting our current supply of limes.

Basically, this is what’s up with limes:

  • Mexico experienced unseasonable rains when the lime trees were blooming
  • The rains resulted in bloom loss on the trees
  • The temps were then unseasonably cold
  • The yields during the mid-March harvest were incredibly low, resulting in an unbalanced supply & demand situation.
  • Supplies are very tight
  • Growers are picking smaller fruit in an attempt to satisfy the demand

So, this is what you can expect:

  • Anytime the supply of any product cannot meet the demand, prices rise.
  • Your lime prices are up & will remain high until the market is no longer in a demand exceed state… industry forecasts are pointing towards a balanced lime market in May.
  • Mixed sizes available at your grocery store in the lime section.
  • Potential lemon substitutions and/or lime up-charges at restaurants.
Lime shortage notice spotted in Indianapolis at The Tamale Place on Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Lime shortage notice spotted in Indianapolis at The Tamale Place on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The current lime market is unlike any other that I’ve experienced in my 9 years as a fresh produce industry professional.  However, this supply-demand imbalance is not foreign to us.  The industry knows how to deal with these situations & we will recover & normal supplies of limes will return.

These imbalance situations are a great opportunity for you to try a new item in the department (there’s always a silver lining)!  Remember… Try them all!  Find Your Favorite!  There is a Produce Mom in ALL of Us! 🙂

xoxo Produce Mom

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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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