Demand is outpacing supply for fresh organic herbs at the moment. “The days are shorter, and winter is progressing slowly,” says Danielle Violante, marketing manager for Jacobs Farm del Cabo. “We’re looking forward to mid-February here in California when we’ll start to ramp up on the supply side with many of our staple and specialty organic herbs.”
Supplies are coming from the Baja Peninsula. “It’s a little warmer in Baja but not quite warm enough for things to be thriving,” says Violante. Supply was a bit stronger at this time last year, which is again largely attributed to the crop just coming on later by approximately three weeks. “Once we pick up in mid-February, we’ll see a similar supply and demand as we saw last year.”
Danielle Violante, Marketing Manager, Jacobs Farm del Cabo
Organic fresh herb demand is good right now, even though demand tends to soften somewhat after the holidays—holiday herbs are the peak of demand. “It steadies out after that drop because of consumers wanting healthier eating habits in the new year. Consumers are also starting to recognize fresh herbs as nutritious additions to their meals that are very inflation friendly and easy to use,” says Violante.
In terms of consumption trends, the herbs that continue to consistently grow in popularity are staples such as basil, chives, and parsley. “We’re also seeing a massive spike in demand for fresh organic mint,” says Violante. “We can attribute that to the fact that mint can be used for so many things, but there’s also a rise online to use it in recipes and cocktails and mocktails or as a garnish.” While consumption of hearty winter herbs such as rosemary and thyme remains consistent, consumers are also experimenting with herbs such as lavender, marjoram, sorrel, and more.
What can be tricky with herbs is the fact that they are sensitive to temperature, which can present a supply chain challenge. “We strive to provide herbs to our customers within 48 hours of the time of harvest because they also do have a shorter shelf life,” Violante says. “So anytime you get a logistical challenge with weather delaying flights or trucks being delayed crossing the border, we can find that the herbs don’t make it in the time that we'd like.”
“We’re also seeing a massive spike in demand for fresh organic mint." - Danielle Violante
As for pricing, it looks similar year over year. “While we’re seeing slightly increased prices due to demand outpacing supply, herbs remain an inflation friendly and nutritious option to keep the demand on the consumer side high year-round.”