At Menu Fresh we aim to provide information on the fresh produce sector across the United Kingdom, Europe, and the world; we can advise and guide you, and your chefs on the market changes, product changes and seasonal trends to ensure you’re able to make an informed choice in line with your menus and budgetary requirements for your restaurants.
Jersey Royals are available for just a short season each year, but it takes a whole 12 months of care and dedication by The Jersey Royal Company to produce these special seasonal potatoes. Earliest outdoor crops are available from Mid-April with peak volumes through May and June. Supply then continues through to the end of July. Prices have started high as expected and usually hold for the first few weeks.
Trade has slowly started to pick up, the sunnier weather over the weekend reportedly helping, but still behind usual with some growers reporting ample stocks of potatoes still on farm.
Students returning to schools this week in England has stimulated an element of, albeit limited, demand on the free-buy market.
The wider industry highly anticipates the opening of hospitality, while demand remains relatively subdued on free-buy, with the majority fulfilled on contract.
Root Vegetables & Brassicas
UK savoy is very limited, and prices have risen as we start to use both Portuguese and French.
Leeks continue to rise in price as we rely on Europe, very limited UK supply due to the heavy rainfall.
Broccoli and cauliflower are in good supply and prices remain reasonably steady
We will be looking at moving to strawed carrot over the next few weeks and can expected prices to rise. Strawed carrots are sown in April to early June and are harvested from December through late May. Straw is applied by machine in October until December to protect the carrots from the winter weather and keep them dark as they attempt to grow in the spring.
April sees the start of the Spanish broad beans and fresh peas. – always good to see something fresh and new on the menu.
The first of the early English asparagus will be with us later this month, with the main crop following on around the second or third week of April. We should see prices drop a little as it competes with supply from Mexico.
Yorkshire forced rhubarb will be coming to an end and we move to outdoor rhubarb which is significantly cheaper than the forced.
Blood oranges will continue but expect to see supply drying up towards the end of the month.
English Bramley will continue to increase in price and French season apple still has good availability. In the next month we will start to move over the Southern Hemisphere apples were typically prices increase.
Easy peelers have shot up in price as limited volume is leaving Morocco, while we wait for more to be released and the South African seasons to start.
Greek kiwi had nudged in price due to the commodity prices at customs.
April also sees the start of the Spanish stone fruit season – peach/ nectarine/plum/ and cherry/apricot, the latter two start a little later than the rest.
Peppers have increased as the high-quality Dutch is demanding higher prices.