Spring artichoke supply closely matches Holiday pull


Supplies of spring artichokes from California are solid right now.


“We are currently harvesting spring artichokes from Castroville, Ca. All the production is in Castroville which is the Artichoke Center of the World,” says Philip Barrientos, commodity account manager for Ocean Mist Farms which is also based in Castroville. Barrientos notes that supplies of the vegetable are mostly in the large sizes of 12 and 18 and then will move into smaller sizes as the season progresses.


“Last year, spring production for artichokes was a bit later,” says Barrientos, adding that Ocean Mist sees demand for artichokes from both foodservice and retail clients. “However, this year with the winter season we had, product came on a bit earlier than typical spring season production.”



Spring pick up
Demand for the unique vegetable is strong right now which isn’t surprising given spring is traditionally artichoke season. “However there is a noticeable increase of consumption during the first quarter of the year, thus our winter artichoke program success,” says Barrientos.


Part of that success can be attributed to the ongoing efforts to educate consumers about how to eat an artichoke. “Artichoke education for both the retailer and the consumer continues to be the key challenge,” says Barrientos. “We address this challenge with a robust communication program, recipe and video distribution and information on our website, oceanmist.com.”



New database promotion
It also includes promotions such as the one Ocean Mist launched at the beginning of the month, namely “Reach for the Gold.” This 30-day campaign reaches out to the company’s database of customers with weekly prizes through email-based trivia. It also provides consumers tips on eating artichokes.


Meanwhile demand for 2019’s artichokes look more in line with this season’s supply. “Last year during Easter season pull, artichokes were very limited and therefore, created a great market,” says Barrientos. “This year is different. It’s not bad, but supplies are more closely “matching” holiday pull.”


Author: Astrid Van Den Broek
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