Produce Market Report

Update on Leafy Lettuces

By | Produce, Produce Market Report, Product Alert!

Romaine, Iceberg, and Leaf Lettuce Report

Last week in the growing regions, there were several days of freezing temperatures that resulted in lettuce and leaf ice. In the past two months, there have been multiple days with ice.

What does this mean? Ice in the fields will lead to lighter weights, smaller sized heads (as the outer, more damaged layers have to be removed), blistering, epidermal peel, and discoloration. Although the producers are removing several outer layers, it is not possible to completely remove 100% of the quality issues.

Here are some pictures from the field of the damage we are seeing.

We are already seeing allocations and higher prices on chopped and shredded romaine, iceberg, and lettuce blends. We expect this trend to hit whole heads of romaine, iceberg, and leaf lettuces as well. Unfortunately, this situation will not be alleviated for approximately 2 months.

We strongly suggest transitioning menu items to spring mix, arcadian mix, or spinach wherever possible.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and continued business.

What Chefs Want Team

Mushroom Market Information

By | Produce Market Report

All mushroom vendors for What Chefs Want have experienced severe cuts in supply. We will see increased short orders and unpredictability in this commodity.

For domestic mushrooms:

Expect that supply will be available some days but not others. We will be subbing different sizes and different sized slices. Even with subs, there are times when mushrooms still will be short.

For exotic mushrooms: 

These may appear as out of stock more often than before.  Supply is affected because of shortages of necessary materials coming in from Asia.

If you buy crimini mushrooms and are willing to take white mushrooms as a substitute, please let us know.
These shorts and allocations come from lack of labor and lack of critical supply for Pennsylvania mushroom growers.

This situation may become worse and is not expected to subside until January or February 2022.

Iceberg and Romaine Alert!

By | Produce Market Report, Uncategorized

Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce Alert!

Extreme rain in the growing areas has caused delays in harvesting iceberg and romaine lettuces. Farmers are unable to harvest when it is raining and the heavy rains led to very muddy fields. You can see in the pic below how the equipment has left deep ruts in the fields due to the muddy conditions.

lettuce fields 2.jpg

We will be extremely tight on all processed lettuce products. 
This includes:
Chopped and shredded romaine
Chopped and shredded iceberg
Tossed salad mix

We will also be tight on whole heads of both iceberg and romaine. If you have the ability to substitute spring mix or spinach for these products, we strongly advise you to do so as your orders will be allocated or shorted as we will not have product to sell. 

We expect this situation to continue for up to 3 weeks. Our orders will continue to be cut, allocated, or delayed meaning your orders will be cut or allocated as well.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and continued business. 

What Chefs Want team

Our Latest Produce Market Report: October 22, 2021

By | Chef's Feed, Produce, Produce Market Report, Products, What Chefs Want

Produce Market Report for October 22, 2021

Peeled Garlic Alert! Supply issues domestically and import issues are causing an extreme market for peeled garlic. Expect to see high prices (around $150/case) in the week ahead. Shorts and prorates are likely.

Mushrooms: Extreme market for all mushrooms, esp. cremini and oyster. Expect shortages through the end of the year.

  • Apples: Steady
  • Asparagus: Coming down
  • Avocados: Steady
  • Bananas: Steady
  • Broccoli: Remains very high, shorts and lower quality continues
  • Cauliflower: Up $6
  • Celery: Steady
  • Corn: Remains tight and higher price
  • Cucumbers: Steady
  • Grapes: Steady
  • Lemons: Steady
  • Lettuce: All lettuce products are way up in price!
  • Limes: Steady
  • Melons: Honeydew remain higher
  • Onions: Steady. We are NOT affected by the current onion recall.
  • Peppers: Red peppers remain stronger
  • Potatoes: Stabilizing
  • Shallots: Very high
  • Squash: Steady
  • Strawberries: Steady
  • Tomatoes: Remain higher

Mushroom Alert!

By | Produce, Produce Market Report, Product Alert!

We are beginning to see shortages in mushrooms. Our suppliers are currently cutting our orders by 10 – 100%.

The top reasons for the shortages from our vendors are:

  • Continued labor shortages, particularly for harvesting
  • Production reduced to match labor on hand
  • Shortage of raw materials to grow mushrooms
  • Weather changes

Unfortunately, our vendors do not expect this situation to improve before January, 2022.

Currently the hardest hit mushrooms are crimini and oyster, but all mushrooms are affected by the shortages and the shortages will continue.

There have been cuts on sliced mushrooms as well as different sizes of white mushrooms.

Your mushroom orders may be subbed, shorted, or allocated. If you have the option of subbing a different type of mushroom that may be in stock, please do so. Our WOW Center can help you determine which mushrooms are in stock. Text them at 502-587-9012.

We are doing all we can to procure as many mushrooms and varieties as we can. We appreciate your patience and continued business.

What Chefs Want Team

Lettuce and Broccoli Market Update

By | Chef's Feed, Produce, Produce Market Report, What Chefs Want

Every fall, the growing region in California transitions from Northern California to Southern California and Yuma, Arizona. Each year is a challenge, and this year has seen more than its share of challenges. The northern regions have seen 3 heat waves, days of smoke blocking the sun’s rays and unpredictable demand due to COVID.   What does this mean? 

Green Leaf Lettuce

Green leaf lettuce is in extreme tight supply. Overall quality is nice, but we are still seeing sun scald, dehydration, and wind/fringe burn.

Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is in an escalated market, meaning the markets are very active. Demand is up; supply is down.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine and Romaine Hearts are in extreme tight supply. We are still seeing increased fringe/tip burn, sun scald, light weights, and occasional dehydration due to the heat and decreased fields.


Broccoli and Broccoli Florets are on a watchlist. We anticipate a moderate gap in supply over the next 1 to 2 weeks as the transition continues.

With all the above products, we have seen decreased shelf life. Product looks great upon hitting our docks but deteriorates much quicker. This is due to the extreme conditions the product was exposed to while growing.

Please be patient with our products as we continue to find the best product available. Sometimes the best product available isn’t perfect product. Once the transition has completed in a couple of weeks, we expect to see higher quality lettuces and broccoli.

Thank you so much for your understanding.