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Pricey Produce: Costs Double, Triple Because Of Weather

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you walk down the grocery aisle, you’ll find lots of pricey produce.

In some parts of the country people are paying $7 for a container of strawberries, but it’s not just fruit costs that are out of control.

“Peppers, these are originating out of Mexico,” said Andy Delisi at J&J Produce in St. Paul.

He blames a lot of it on the weather.

“The significant amount of rain that California received has made it virtually impossible to go into the fields and try to pick anything,” Delisi said.

And there’s extreme cold in Florida.

“Tomato crop definitely got stung a little bit,” said Delisi. “It’s holding back even the citrus crop (in Florida) you know. Peppers — all these things that should be coming on now like gangbusters — aren’t.”

“Typically we eat a lot of fresh produce year round,” said Alyssa Vance.

But at $6.50, she said she is skipping past the strawberries.

“It’s a lot of money for a pack of strawberries,” she said. “That’s kind of the biggest thing for me because I love blueberries and strawberries.”

You might not even realize the weather is impacting some produce, like carrots. Workers haven’t been able to get into rain-soaked fields to pick them. The supply has diminished and the wholesale price has skyrocketed.

“Sometimes the retailers don’t pass that on, and they just gut it out because they know its short term,” said Delisi.

Delisi said we’re too spoiled because we have so much available.

“We’re used to having everything year-round now because we do so much world trade,” said Delisi. “It’s a global economy.”

And the pricey produce we’re experiencing now is just short-term.

“I don’t see this going into the next month and having crazy price or anything like that. We go through a couple of … 10 days here,” said Delisi, “And things will mostly be back to normal providing there’s not another weather surprise.”

Andy Delisi said to be on the lookout. Once workers get back into the fields, there will be a glut. And then you should be able to get some great deals.

Joan Gilbertson, Producer
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WCCO-TV’s Amelia Santaniello Reports

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