Turn to Honor Foods During This National Strawberry Shortage

Strawberry Shortage Nationwide - How Honor Foods Can Help

Strawberry Shortage Nationwide – How Honor Foods Can Help

  1. What Happened to Cause the Strawberry Shortage?
  2. What is the Result for Suppliers, Food Operators, and Distributors?
  3. How Can Honor Foods Help?

‘Tis the Season for strawberry shortcakes, strawberry lemonade, and strawberry salad. The only problem is, where are all the strawberries?

90% of strawberries harvested in the United States are grown in California. However, due to severe flooding in parts of the state, thousands of acres of the crop were lost.

The result is a scramble for strawberries nationwide during peak season and an increased cost.

However, we have a solution.

What Happened to Cause the Strawberry Shortage?

While not many people associate rain with California, that’s exactly what happened earlier this year, just weeks before strawberries were set to be harvested in the area. While the rain did wonders for the drought percentage, dropping it from 74% to 48%, according to Fresh Fruit Portal, the heavy onset of rain also caused severe flooding in areas known for strawberry production. This caused damage to about 20% of the fields in the Monterey Bay region.

To understand why rain that we would typically think was much needed in the area actually caused great harm to the crops, you must first understand why strawberries grow so well in California in a typical year. Strawberries grow best in Mediterranean climates, hot and dry. In California, the year-round moderate temperatures with sunny days and cool, humid nights are ideal for growing the crop. Strawberries are incredibly susceptible to mold, which tends to happen in wet conditions. Therefore, having strawberries sit in a field of puddles, even briefly, is not a good recipe for a healthy crop.

What is the Result for Suppliers, Food Operators, and Distributors?

Plenty of news articles have discussed the effect of the strawberry shortage in grocery stores, citing empty shelves where strawberries previously sat. However, the impact doesn’t stop there. Many items are strawberry-based in a season when many restaurants are releasing their new seasonal menus. It’s a sure sign that the Spring and Summer months are here. However, prices soar in a world where supply is low, and demand is high. This increased cost is affecting the entire foodservice supply chain.

Suppliers making strawberry-based products, like frozen strawberries, smoothie mixes, jams, etc., may not have the supply of raw ingredients available at the level they usually do. This means they have to source new products in a situation where everyone is doing the same, making them harder to come by and, again, an increased price passed down the chain.

For distributors, it takes more work to get your hands on the quantity you need at the time you need it at a beneficial price. This makes just-in-time inventory with strawberry products harder and riskier. It can also create a scramble of looking for a product to ensure your operators keep items off the 86’d list.

For food operators, it affects their menus and prices. For example, if they can’t get enough strawberry products in, they may have to adjust their menu, removing popular menu items.

How Can Honor Foods Help?

Did you know Honor Foods has its own private label called Valley Fresh? Valley Fresh offers a variety of fresh-frozen vegetables, vegetable blends, and fruits, including strawberries! Our strawberries are not sourced from California, but they do compete with the flavor associated with California strawberries.

This also means we have plenty in stock and available for the season of strawberry shortcakes and smoothies. Because they are not sourced from California, the flooding has not impacted the supply we pull from or the cost. In addition, because we already have a relationship with the supplier, we already have orders while others are scrambling to look for a source.

These containers contain large quantities of strawberries versus syrup and excellent coloring. The containers are also square and shorter, making them easier to store.


If you are a distributor searching for strawberries amid a shortage, check out our Valley Fresh brand. Strawberry dishes are a crowd favorite for the spring and summer months. So keep your food operators in stock with a source of delicious, well-packaged, easily accessible strawberries.


About Honor Foods

Honor Foods, a Burris Logistics Company, was founded in 1949 as a redistributor of center-of-the-plate foods. Since then, Honor Foods has grown into the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier provider of frozen, refrigerated, dry, and dairy products, representing more than 300 brand-name food suppliers and carrying more than 3,000 in-stock items. Honor Foods brands R.W. Zant and Sunny Morning provide additional beef and dairy expertise on the West Coast and in the southeast. In addition, our exclusive house brands — Colony Lane and Valley Fresh, have a well-earned reputation for top quality and value at competitive prices.

Great products and prices are just part of the Honor Foods value-add. We pride ourselves in having a Team of dedicated professionals who manage each partnership. Our commitment to your business needs is what makes us unique.