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How much are you paying for broccoli?

ipsedixit Jan 5, 2011 09:20 AM

Prices that I've seen have risen anywhere from 25% to nearly double from 3 weeks ago.

I know it's due in part to the cold and wet weather in parts of California, but just curious what other parts of the country are seeing in terms of broccoli prices.

  1. f
    fryerlover Jan 5, 2011 09:23 AM

    In south Ontario it is about $1.50 for two small heads in the cheaper stores and about $2.50-$3.00 in the higher end and probably more in the very high end.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fryerlover
      masha Jan 6, 2011 11:02 AM

      I got some crowns for 59 cents/lb right before Christmas but the price generally has been running between about $1.50/lb. and $1.99/lb. (I'm in Chicago area.)

    2. junescook Jan 5, 2011 09:23 AM

      Hi ID,

      Here in CT, we were paying as little as $1/lb for crowns on sale shortly befre Christmas. I noticed yesterday that they were about $2.50. Green beans have gotten expensive as well.

      1. c
        Cachetes Jan 5, 2011 09:25 AM

        I couldn't find broccoli at my regular place the other day. Didn't know it might be related to a national broccoli crisis!

        1. b
          bropaul Jan 5, 2011 09:25 AM

          Here in NJ it's averaging around $2.99 / small - medium head.

          1. v
            Val Jan 5, 2011 09:30 AM

            A place here in Naples, FL (Oakes Farms) is selling conventional broccoli for $1.50 a head this week! Organic is always about $1 - $1.50 more but that's a pretty good price...Publix is featuring broccoli and cauliflower for $2.00 /head.
            *Adding: though broccoli does grow here in FL, both of these grocery stores indicate this is California broccoli*

            1 Reply
            1. re: Val
              scubadoo97 Jan 8, 2011 04:26 AM

              That head at Publix can contain 2-3 stalks and are on average around 2 lbs or under. Pays to weigh them.

            2. c
              Cathy Jan 5, 2011 09:42 AM

              79¢/lb before Christmas, $2/lb now. San Diego.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Cathy
                ipsedixit Jan 5, 2011 01:10 PM

                Almost mirrors my prices here in SoCal to the dot.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  goodhealthgourmet Jan 6, 2011 08:08 AM

                  ipse, if you find yourself anywhere near Sprouts in Culver City, they've got conventional broccoli crowns for 88¢ each this week. i spaced and forgot to grab some of the organic at TJ's yesterday so i don't know what their price is right now, but the SM Co-op was about $2.69/lb for organic on Monday.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2011 02:48 PM

                    minor edit - apparently there was a misprint in the online flyer because i was at Sprouts today, and broccoli crowns are 88¢ *per pound,* not each.

              2. lilgi Jan 5, 2011 01:19 PM

                Just payed $2/lb. for crowns this weekend.

                1. aching Jan 5, 2011 01:22 PM

                  I paid a fortune for some "broccolette" last weekend (I'd never heard of it before, but I guess it's a hybrid between regular broccoli and gai lan) - three medium-sized bunches cost almost $10. But it was at Whole Paycheck, so I wasn't expecting a bargain - and it was utterly delectable.

                  1. coll Jan 6, 2011 01:00 AM

                    99c/lb next week at Stop and Shop on Long Island. Bunched or crowns.

                    1. h
                      Harters Jan 6, 2011 03:18 AM

                      My local supermarket currently has them at £1.97 a kilo.

                      (Edit: apologies - I see the OP was only interested in prices in America)

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Harters
                        coll Jan 6, 2011 06:04 AM

                        Well I think it's interesting that your price isn't that far off from ours! Although not sure on the current exchange rate...

                        1. re: coll
                          smartie Jan 8, 2011 04:50 AM

                          exchange rate is fairly irrelevant comparing the UK pound to the dollar. Assuming wages/salaries run about the same in dollars and pounds you can almost say it's 1:1

                          1. re: smartie
                            coll Jan 8, 2011 05:23 AM

                            OK I thought there was a 40 cents or so difference. But with the wide range of US prices here, still in the ballpark.

                        2. re: Harters
                          Cachetes Jan 6, 2011 06:23 AM

                          Where do your greens and other vegetables come from during the winter? Just curious about where colder places in Europe source vegetables.

                          1. re: Cachetes
                            Harters Jan 6, 2011 06:47 AM

                            I dont want to take this off at too much of a tangent but, as we're a small island, we always have to import a significant amount of food, regardless of season. At present, things like root vegetables, onions, leeks, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and so on, will be homegrown - harvested in the autumn and held in cold storage (or even not harvested until needed). We have to grow things like tomatoes under glass and our season is now finished, so these tend to be imported from southern Europe where growing under cover continues all year - if you go to, say, the Almeria part of Andalucia, there's kilometre after kilometre of plastic greenhousing. The Spanish call it plasticultura. From a distance - say when your plane is landing, it looks like an enormous lake.

                            And, finally, there are the things, like green beans, that we can grow here in the summer but the supermarkets find it cheaper to import from African countries all year. Similar happens with asparagus - you'll find Peruvian on the shelves at the height of the UK growing season. It's a nonsense!

                            1. re: Harters
                              Cachetes Jan 6, 2011 07:31 AM

                              Plasticultura - great term. And thanks for the explanation! We have competing products here as well, with locally grown in-season items sold alongside stuff shipped from afar. It does seem ridiculous, though I wonder if issues of demand or sourcing are at play.

                              1. re: Cachetes
                                Harters Jan 6, 2011 07:37 AM

                                I think the supermarkets take the view that the public demand certain products be available all year. Hence stuff like the asparagus imports which they presumably contract to buy so that there's no break if the homegrown crop is late. Personally, I'm happy to eat things like asparagus and strawberries only during the few weeks that homegrown is around.

                                1. re: Harters
                                  Cachetes Jan 6, 2011 07:49 AM

                                  For some of these items, e.g. strawberries, they aren't even worth it off season b/c the ones from afar are pretty tasteless.

                                  1. re: Harters
                                    Chowrin Jan 7, 2011 10:07 PM

                                    they do have everblooming strawberries... if you've got a garden.

                          2. JuniorBalloon Jan 6, 2011 06:33 AM

                            Organic $2.49, conventional $1.99. Other than sale prices this hasn't changed in quite a while.


                            1. mamachef Jan 6, 2011 07:50 AM

                              >99 for a large bunch, yesterday, at the friendly neighborhood grocery store, Gazzali's.

                              1. l
                                LauraGrace Jan 6, 2011 08:35 AM

                                I just said "no way" to two smallish bunches of broc for $5 yesterday.

                                15 Replies
                                1. re: LauraGrace
                                  JuniorBalloon Jan 6, 2011 09:54 AM

                                  I think it's interesting that some places sell it by the bunch or the head and not weight. I've never seen that before.


                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 6, 2011 09:59 AM

                                    i fid it irritating because it makes it more difficult to compare prices per pound, particularly when you're at a store like TJ's that doesn't have scales in the produce department

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      Will Owen Jan 6, 2011 10:49 AM

                                      TJ's was hard to get used to after moving to SoCal from Nashville, where most of the markets had finally gone to open bins and scales. But I buy some things from them, especially the broccolini/baby broccoli, whatever you want to call it, just because it's always good and almost always there. It was still $2.49 for twelve ounces last night, and I bought two packages - an extravagance, but I do love it so, and I wanted leftovers for lunch.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        LauraGrace Jan 6, 2011 10:50 AM

                                        I couldn't agree more.

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                          magiesmom Jan 7, 2011 05:07 AM

                                          This is one thing I hate about TJ's.

                                          1. re: magiesmom
                                            goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2011 02:46 PM

                                            seems like a lot of us feel that way. it wouldn't make sense to have them since they don't sell anything by weight, but it's still annoying :) i wish they'd at least list the price per oz or lb somewhere on the shelf tags.

                                        2. re: JuniorBalloon
                                          coll Jan 6, 2011 10:03 AM

                                          My local ethnic grocery sells both ways, you have to look carefully.

                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                            ipsedixit Jan 6, 2011 02:56 PM

                                            One of my gripes (of which there are quite a few) with Fresh & Easy.

                                            Produce by the count and not by weight just seems wrong.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              coll Jan 7, 2011 02:38 AM

                                              Actually broccoli is sold wholesale by the count. 18 heads to the case. So should be closer to actual cost I would think.

                                              1. re: coll
                                                ipsedixit Jan 7, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                Not sure why that would be the case. The per unit price could simply be adjusted higher than the per pound price.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                  coll Jan 7, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                  You might not be aware, but all produce is sold wholesale either by the piece or by the lb. Broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, always by the piece; tomatoes, zuccini, onions, always by the pound. And so on.

                                                  To me, they receive the invoice, divide the price by 18, and mark it up from there. The other way, they would have to physically weigh the product before deducing their end cost by the lb rather than the piece. They would have to either figure the tare weight or physically remove all broccoli from the carton before weighing. By the piece can be figured in advance, in the office, rather than depending on warehouse/receiving dept labor and attendant salary costs. Another thing, there are no errors by the head as there are none of the errors in weighing that can easily occur, resulting in lost profit. Everything is marked up based on the purchase price times whatever percent profit, either way it's deduced.

                                                  If it was my grocery store, I would sell it based on the way it came in to me. Others choose to sell by the lb, but I always think that's to catch you on heavier items: when it's over a lb, you see the price and think it's per piece. But the per lb price is probably really their per piece cost, so everything over that is gravy. Groceries work on very small profit margins and have to pull a few tricks here and there.

                                                2. re: coll
                                                  Uncle Bob Jan 8, 2011 03:55 AM

                                                  Sometimes 14 count

                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                    coll Jan 8, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                    No always 14 count, I'd better stop relying on my memory so much! Cauliflower always 12 count. Lettuce I know is 24 without looking at least ;-)

                                                    1. re: coll
                                                      Uncle Bob Jan 8, 2011 05:34 AM

                                                      Broccoli is/was available in 18 and 14 count....Retailers used to pull in 18's for promotion purposes...I see 14's on rare occasions.....

                                                      Your memory is ok....

                                                      1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                        coll Jan 8, 2011 05:43 AM

                                                        Thank goodness!

                                                        I only see 14s listed right now,. maybe they've changed from 18, just like the famous shrinking Hellmanns and tuna cans! Or maybe it's seasonal? Anyway my basic thoughts still stand regarding retail pricing, a little mistake and you can lose lots of money.

                                          2. mels Jan 7, 2011 05:30 AM

                                            Crowns are on sale this week here in Connecticut for $0.99/lb.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mels
                                              junescook Jan 7, 2011 04:50 PM

                                              Where is that in CT?

                                            2. iluvcookies Jan 7, 2011 06:12 PM

                                              99 cents/lb for crowns and 2.49 for a head in Westchester, NY this week. I got 3 crowns and it cost just under $3.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: iluvcookies
                                                lilgi Jan 7, 2011 07:08 PM

                                                Iluv, where in Westchester?

                                              2. enbell Jan 7, 2011 06:28 PM

                                                1.98/pound before Christmas, but back down to .98 this week. Cauliflower is now .98/head - which makes me happy :)

                                                1. Uncle Bob Jan 8, 2011 03:57 AM

                                                  Saw Broccoli for $2.49 a head/bunch (18 count) yesterday.....I said to myself...."Kiss My Grits" and kept walking!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                    coll Jan 8, 2011 05:33 AM

                                                    There's an old adage in produce, the higher the price the worse the quality. You should always keep walking when something is that high, it won't be top notch for sure.

                                                  2. AmyH Jan 8, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                    I'm in Albany NY and the Hannaford wants $3.49/lb for crowns. There's not a shortage because they had plenty, but I suppose nobody's buying. I didn't notice what they wanted for bunches.

                                                    1. junescook Jan 11, 2011 04:51 PM

                                                      Broccoli Tonight (1/11/11), .99/lb @ Stop&Shop in Shop in CT, either tops or bunch.

                                                      1. toodie jane Jan 13, 2011 04:54 PM

                                                        I live 5 miles from the center of U.S. broccoli production, the Santa Maria Valley, Calif. Even though the ground is sandy loam, we had 12 inches of rain from Dec 5th through Christmas. Sometimes 3 and 4 inches at a time. The tractors and harvesting equipment couldn't get into the fields, and the heads were muddy and not prime. So yes, you saw a temporary rise in price. Unfortunately, at the same time, gasoline and diesel fuel prices rose by 30 cents a gallon, going up indefinitely. Gas is forecast to go to $4 by summer.

                                                        So prices may stay high for while. We are supposed to stay dry for another week or two at least, during this prime harvesting season. Yuma Arizona is another huge growing area which will see their harvests coming in soon.

                                                        In normal times, I spend $2 # for organic broccoli, or 1.29 to 1.59 for conventional.

                                                        1. CindyJ Jan 13, 2011 05:25 PM

                                                          Today I paid $1.49/lb for crowns at Wegmans in Downingtown, PA.

                                                          1. AmyH Jan 17, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                            Still $3.49 per pound for crowns and $2.79 for a bunch at Hannaford in Albany NY. It's crazy, especially when I see what other people are paying.

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