Inside this Food Report


February 1, 2018

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Hello Everyone,

Gong Xi Fa Cai! A very Happy New Year to all our Chinese friends! On February 16th, we welcome the Year of the Dog – a year when consolidation and planning really pay off. We are told this is not a year to make rash decisions or quick changes, but rather a time to plan carefully for the future. This year is said to bring plenty of opportunities and resources for growth, but results will take time. Those who are patient, like the loyal and trusting Dog, will reap the benefits. The outlook for the second half of the year is better than the first half…which may mean vegetable packs will be much better and supplies more in balance. The best months for making money this year are August and September…..which hopefully means a great corn crop in 2018!

December and January was a rough couple of months for some of us at Noon, with one surgery and the flu hitting our families and ourselves it was not a fun experience for any of us! The good news is we are all back on track and ready for AFFI 2018 in Las Vegas. Our appointments are set and we look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Thankfully the broccoli and cauliflower situation in Mexico is starting to somewhat recover (see our crop section below), however processors in Mexico are still not fully out of the woods yet until inventories have time to replenish.

Last but not least for those of you who don’t already know, I would like to introduce Noon’s newest team member, Ms. Susie Prchal, who joined Noon International LLC, in January. For those of you who do not know Susie , she comes to us with over 18 years of experience in the frozen food industry and is well versed on the intricacies of the new Food Safety Modernization Act. Susie’s main role will be business development and implementing and maintaining Noon’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Susie lives in Snoqualmie, WA with her husband Kevin and two children, Caleb and Isabelle. We are thrilled to welcome Susie to the Noon International LLC group!

All The Best,
Betty and The Noon International Team

CropVeggies United States: Frozen fruit stocks in the U.S.A. are low. Both blueberries and cherries are at lower levels than the past year, while strawberries and raspberries show small increases compared to last year at this same time.

Raw material potatoes for processing in the Colombia Basin and Idaho are limited. Processors may be pulling raw material from Canada, however the high cost and limited truck availability could make this difficult. Some processor may have no other choice but to drastically drawn down finished product inventories in order to meet shipments.
Growers will be anxious to get their crop’s planted in spring at the earliest possible time as it is expected that processor’s will be required to begin to use new season potatoes earlier than usual, most likely by end June/first week of July. If spring weather does not cooperate for timely planting we could see an out of stock situation for frozen potatoes.

Mexico: Coming off one of the worst years in history for processors of frozen broccoli and cauliflower, the situation is starting to look up. The last week of January showed a strong production and this is expected to continue in February. While there have still been some pockets of cooler weather and freeze which has delayed growth, overall the crops are coming in and processors are getting back to full capacity. By March, most processors are expecting to replenish their inventories for both broccoli and cauliflower. Mexico’s mango season has begun and expected to run through September.

Guatemala: Broccoli season in Guatemala is winding down. Sugar snap peas, snow peas, okra and melon are now being processed.

Europe: Numbers out from the North – Western European Potato Growers show harvest figures for 2017 potatoes at an increase of 17.2% compared to last season. The high production has depressed pricing. Due to adverse weather conditions the quality of the potatoes was not ideal with a high percent of low solids. This may result in lower yields which could help draw down raw material inventory.

Spanish artichoke season is now underway and expected to run through May. Sixty percent of this harvest is expected to go to the processing sector.

Chile: Harvest of early variety raspberries is now ending. The harvest start was delayed by abut 10 days due to rain and cold.
Blueberry season in the central – south zone is ongoing. Temperatures there have recently become warmer which has helped with the growth.

Peru: Mango season has begun in Northern Peru. The season began a bit late due to cooler temperatures during spring


Shandong Province: Due to the cold weather in Shandong in January all harvest activity is finished. Some factories are processing broccoli which has been brought in from Zhejiang area.

Zhejiang Province: Broccoli production has started. Higher price for raw material, along with increased labor and packaging cost has led to price increases this season. Generally quality is good.
Cauliflower processing is also underway with good quality. Peak production is expected in the next week or so.

Fujian Province

Water chestnut season is underway. Due to the enormous demand from domestic and foreign markets the raw material prices rose sharply this season by over 15%. Along with freight, labor and packaging increases expect to pay more for your water chestnuts this season.

Mushroom production is underway. Prices are high for raw material compared to last season. Quality is reported as good this season.

Record-Breaking Listeria Outbreak Rattles South Africa

In January, officials in South Africa announced that the total number of people affected by a listeria outbreak had risen to an alarming 767, the biggest listeria outbreak to date.

The outbreak has affected nine provinces but is concentrated in the northeastern regions of the country, with two-thirds of cases centered in Pretoria, Johannesburg, and other cities in the Gauteng province.

Listeria is a bacteria that causes foodborne illness in anyone who consumes contaminated foods or beverages. Once inside the body, the disease can wreak havoc on the central nervous system, producing toxins that damage cells. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal distress, muscle pain, and fever.

In severe cases, listeria can lead to death. The outbreak in South Africa has already claimed 81 lives, with South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Disease estimating a 34% death rate among traced patients, compared to a worldwide average of 20-25%.

Pregnant women, infants, senior citizens, and those with compromised immune systems who are exposed to listeria are especially at risk of infection and death. Symptoms can appear as late as 30 days after exposure to the bacteria.

Although officials have not yet publicly named the source of the outbreak, they recently announced that they have identified a food outlet as a possible culprit. Common sources of listeria such as deli meats and other ready-to-eat foods have been the subject of speculation. With no definitive cause known as yet, rumors abound and South Africans are beginning to panic.

Until the outbreak ends, officials are instructing South Africans to cook any raw meat, dairy, or seafood products thoroughly, and to avoid unpasteurized foods and beverages.

Pineapple’s Power!

As winter settles over the northern hemisphere, a taste of the tropics seems more appealing than ever. Fortunately, pineapple offers numerous health benefits that can help keep winter colds at bay while supporting overall health.

Pineapple contains a blend of enzymes called bromelain, which delivers antioxidants and helps the body digest protein. The anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain make pineapple an ideal snack to reach for if you’ve recently had surgery. Scientists also believe that bromelain can help fight the risk of cancer.

When it comes to vitamin C, pineapple packs a powerful punch, delivering 131% of the daily value with each serving. One serving of pineapple also provides 76% of the daily value of manganese, a mineral that supports bone health, blood clotting, and hormones, but which most Americans are deficient in. Pineapple is also notable for providing thiamin, a B vitamin that boosts energy.

Pineapple can be easily incorporated into familiar foods for a nutritional boost and extra fiber. A one-cup serving has no fat or cholesterol, and contains very little sodium. Despite containing 16 grams of natural sugar, each serving clocks in at only 82 calories.

Frozen pineapple adds much-needed natural sweetness to spinach or kale smoothies, and amps up fresh salsa with a pop of acidity. Adventurous eaters even enjoy it on pizza or caramelized over a hot grill along with peppers, onions, and cubes of pork.

For full health benefits, be sure to purchase fresh or frozen pineapple when possible, or opt for pineapple that is canned in natural juices.

“Amazon Go” Promises to Revolutionize Grocery Shopping

At first glance, Amazon’s new grocery store in Seattle, Washington appears to be just like any other. The 1,800-square foot store offers essentials such as coffee beans as well as pre-made meals and packaged kits for cooking. There is also a small section featuring Whole Foods 365 brand.

But there is one important difference: Amazon Go has no cashiers or checkout lines.

This doesn’t mean that the groceries are free, it just feels that way! Instead, customers scan their smartphones at turnstiles at the door. As shoppers pick up things around the store, cameras and sensors detect what they have selected.

As soon as customers leave the store, they receive a push notification with a receipt for all of their items. The new store is the culmination of five years of work. Amazon tested the system on its employees for a year before recently opening Amazon Go to the public.

The “grab and go” system is being hailed as the future of grocery stores, although no one outside of Amazon currently knows the full intricacies of the technology that makes Amazon Go possible.

Although Amazon Go has received enthusiastic media coverage around the world, some have noted that not everyone can access the experience of shopping there. The store does not accept food stamps, and its reliance on a smartphone app also cuts down on potential customers.

Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017, but the company has yet to announce when Amazon Go technology might make an appearance in Whole Foods across the country.

In the meantime, the days of waiting in long checkout lines and scanning individual items could be a thing of the past sooner than later.

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