Writer: Sandra Avant, (979) 845-2840
Contact: Dr. Charles Hall, (979) 845-1772, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Dick Edwards, (979) 845-1772, email@example.com
COLLEGE STATION — The so-called “sweet onion” will be at the top of many shoppers grocery list in April.
“We are going to be seeing a lot of the 1015 onions this month,” said Dr. Charles Hall, horticulture marketing specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. “This is the prime season for this sweet onion that consumers enjoy so much.”
The 1015 super sweet onion was developed years ago by Dr. Leonard Pike, director of the Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University. The variety also is grown in New Zealand, Chile, Australia and Mexico.
As the onions first come to market, prices should be around 69 to 79 cents a pound, according to Hall. Mid-April and the first of May is the peak time for this particular onion and prices will likely drop to about 49 cents a pound when on sale.
Although weather conditions have not caused any major effects on any fresh produce, “consumers will still have a tough time getting lettuce,” Hall said. “California growers are having problems with quality, so prices will probably be a little higher than in previous months.”
Lettuce will not be one of the items featured during the month, he said. Prices may run anywhere from 79 cents to a little over $1 per head.
Supplies of other fresh produce, especially those coming in from the Rio Grande Valley, look pretty good, according to Hall. Consumers will see more cantaloupes and honey dew melons coming in from the Valley, he said. Also, there will be more carrots and bell peppers. However, supplies of broccoli and cauliflower will taper off.
Fresh fruit available will include seedless grapes for around 89 to 99 cents a pound and strawberries at 69 to 79 cents a per pint, according to Dr. Richard Edwards, Extension food marketing specialist.
Unseasonal fruit such as apples and oranges will still be available until early April, he said. Good bargains will be on small apples at five for $1. “Also, look for specials on small navel oranges at 10 for $1,” he said.
“Texans who celebrate the Easter holidays with traditional meals will find bargains on hams and some of the trimmings,” Edwards said. “Ham will be the most advertised item with discounts on most varieties.”
Shoppers will probably see the $1.09 ham on special for about 89 cents a pound, he said. Boneless canned hams in 5-pound tins and in vacuum-sealed packages will be available for just under $1.50 per pound.
Easter specials also will include eggs with prices ranging from 49 to 69 cents per dozen, depending on size, Edwards said. Food served as side dishes such as sweet potatoes also will be featured. Look for fresh sweet potatoes at about 39 to 49 cents per pound.
Additionally, the holidays will be a good time to stock up on soft drinks, he said. Usually, retailers feature big promotions with prices ranging anywhere from 99 cents to $1.50 for a six-pack of soft drinks to around $1.99 to $2.99 for 12. Specials will be available on different brands.
Consumers will still be able to find good buys on poultry in April, Edwards said. Fryer leg quarters in 10-pound bags will sell for about 49 cents a pound. Mixed fryer parts, including the breast, will sell for around 69 to 79 cents per pound as will legs or thighs packaged separately. Boneless skinless breasts can be found for around $1.77 a pound.
Consumers can expect to see some lower beef prices late in April as temperatures warm up and the grilling season officially begins, according to Edwards. In the meantime, prices on red meat should remain about the same as those in March.
Ground beef will run about 99 cents per pound and beef spareribs will be on sale for a limited time for 69 to 79 cents per pound. Consumers also should look for specials on pork chops at $1.49 a pound, he said.
Seafood will be featured as more fresh products become available after Easter, Edwards said. Look for specials on shrimp, filets of red snapper, salmon steaks and halibut.