Innovative chefs have taken cauliflower to new heights by broiling, frying, roasting, mashing, and smashing this simple staple.This trend has only continued in recent years, with the average retail price of cauliflower rising above four dollars in major cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.That’s a lot for a head of cauliflower, especially when you consider that you can buy rice or potatoes for around fifty cents a pound!Of course, whenever there’s a diet trend, you can count on retailers and food manufacturers to jump on board to meet the demand.Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Brand, Green Giant, Bird’s Eye, and many, many more have all come out with new cauliflower-based products in the freezer aisle in the past five years.If Keto and Paleo dieters were the only consumers increasing the demand for cauliflower, that would be bad enough, but they aren’t—not by a long shot.With a little truffle oil, harissa, taco seasoning, or red wine reduction and butter, cauliflower can taste like just about anything.Since cauliflower works so well as a substitute for all kinds of diet restrictions, from gluten-free and low-carb to strict vegan, the demand has increased exponentially along with the rise of more conscious eating habits.Compared to flour, rice, and potatoes, cauliflower is higher in fiber, vitamins, water, and minerals and lower in calories and net carbs.The water content and fiber in cauliflower help you to feel full for longer for fewer calories, resulting in weight loss.Bottom line: Any time a vegetable or grain starts getting good press as a superfood, the demand rises, and the price follows right behind.The first five reasons cauliflower is so expensive have detailed why the veggie’s popularity has gone through the roof in recent years.Compare that to other nutrient-rich vegetables, like baby kale or leafy greens, which germinate quickly, are ready to pick in just three to four weeks, and can often be harvested multiple times throughout the growing season.In addition to the physical properties of cauliflower, it also needs a lot of space to grow because it’s a heavy feeder.Cauliflower pulls these nutrients and moisture from the soil, so any plants that are too close won’t get enough water or vitamins to grow into a healthy crop.Other large, bushy plants and heavy feeders have properties that allow them to be more productive in the same amount of space and, therefore, less expensive to grow and harvest.For example, heavy feeders like grapes, cucumbers, melons, and even some tomatoes can be trained to grow vertically up a trellis, maximizing space.Cauliflower can grow in slightly warmer conditions but won’t produce a quality head at temperatures over 75 F (24 C).Its temperamental nature combined with the time cauliflower takes to mature from seed to harvest gives farmers an incredibly short planting window—and only one chance to get it right.Even cauliflower’s closely related vegetable cousins such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, and romanesco have longer seasons, smaller space requirements, and can produce more than one crop per season, making them less pricey than cauliflower at the grocery.A late frost or early heat wave can devastate an entire harvest in a matter of days.Prices were even worse in Canada and Australia, where the California export was costing local consumers around eight dollars a head—when they could get it!Thank your lucky stars that you weren’t trying to add cauliflower to the menu in the UK in the summer of 2019, when extreme weather ruined most of their country’s supply.Similarly, a rainy winter season in California in 2019 made the price of cauliflower triple in a matter of weeks.The final reason that cauliflower prices are more likely to spike with increased demand or decreased supply is the lack of government subsidies for most vegetable crops.When there’s a drought or other natural event that affects a grain farmer’s output, these subsidies also help the industry weather the financial impact without increasing their prices too steeply.In contrast, vegetable crops typically aren’t subsidized, so the consumer pays full price for the produce.Just as importantly, the agricultural industry bears the full risk of a natural event that reduces their supply and has to pass the cost of extreme weather to the consumer.As a result, it’s rare for a farmer to dedicate his full acreage to producing a single crop, especially one as finicky as cauliflower.No matter how you choose to maximize your cauliflower budget, it’s important to remember that even at its most expensive, you’re still getting a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. .
Broccoli, cauliflower see demand fall during pandemic – Produce
Broccoli and cauliflower are two more vegetables that have seen consumer demand drop since the mid-March retail surge as cities around the United States issues shelter-in-place orders.Blue Book has teamed with Agtools Inc., the data analytic service for the produce industry, for a look at volume and price trends for broccoli and cauliflower over the past few months.Similarly, broccoli from Mexico crossing through Texas saw prices fall in half from mid-March to the end of the month.Unfortunately, as long as the public health emergency continues, we don’t expect any increase in pricing for highly perishable products.”.Broccoli from Salinas, CA, showed a similar pattern, with prices dropping in half from mid-March to the end of the month. .
Cauliflower supplies to remain short throughout May
The cauliflower market is red hot right now as supplies are heavily strained as the result of some planting gaps.However, the region experienced heavy rainfall in late winter in parallel with cooler than normal temperatures which hampered planting efforts, the effects of which are now being felt."Supplies are extremely short right now due to the excessive rains California experienced in January and February.Jordan added that the price rise on cauliflower and broccoli can primarily be attributed to short supplies as consumers begin turning to summer vegetables.The weather in California has remained persistently cool since the cauliflower season began in Santa Maria about a month ago. .
Cauliflower prices too high? Buy these 5 veggies instead
Once again, the drought in California is affecting our produce aisles.Try these vegetables to save on your grocery bill this winter.Note: This timeline will vary with other types of cabbage, and once cut, be sure to carefully wrap your cabbage with plastic wrap before returning it to the fridge to preserve the lifespan.Broccoli.The cousin to cauliflower, this green, nutrient-dense vegetable is a star ingredient in some of our favourite dishes.You want to look for dark green, dense heads of broccoli.Related: How to cook green vegetables and keep them green.A relative of the cabbage, this root-like vegetable has a deep and sweet flavour and can be enjoyed fresh (in salads or on crudites platters) or cooked.Cottage pie with celery root mash.Winter squash.Watch: The best way to cut butternut squash. .
How did cauliflower come to cost as much as a pound of grass-fed
And with cauliflower nudging kale aside as a contender for the next hot vegetable – last week, a New York Times food writer declared that the veg was "shaping up as a star of this winter season" – wildly fluctuating prices are causing angst across the country.The cost of the beloved brassica may hold in this range, says John Bishop, director of purchasing for Fresh Start Foods, but when it comes to veg prices this season, "We're not out of the woods.".Bishop blames an El Nino weather system that has brought cold and wet conditions to cauliflower-growing areas in the United States and Mexico.Add to that any damage caused by Hurricane Patricia in Mexico in the fall – and the plunging buying power of the Canadian dollar – and you get sticker shock.China, India and Italy are the world's top three largest growers, but produce importers looking for more stock haven't been able to call up suppliers in those countries.That cauliflower is already contracted to be sold to big companies, says Nick Nasturzio, a vegetable buyer who's been getting calls from friends and family about the spike.Up until a month ago, Rose says he was selling the head of roasted cauliflower stuffed with Halloumi cheese and topped with tahini sauce, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds for about $25.Farmers can't jump on the hot prices to turn a quick profit: They have to plan far in advance, choosing what to plant based on last season, then waiting to see if the weather works with or against them. .
Low supplies and high prices on cauliflower
She notes that last year at this time, short supplies and high prices were also seen thanks to a combination of the weather, the transition in growing regions and the demand due to the popularity of the vegetable.Georgalos says the biggest challenge is the swing in supply availability with this commodity which is heavily dependent on weather.Looking ahead, Georgalos notes that availability of cauliflower will improve as Yuma, AZ, gets deeper into the growing season.“Warmer weather should bring on additional product for better supplies to cover the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holiday,” she says. .
There's a cauliflower shortage in the US, and it's making prices
A shortage due to cold weather in areas where cauliflower grows in the US—California’s Imperial Valley and near Yuma, Arizona—has caused wholesale prices to more than double since early November, according to US Department of Agriculture data.Wholesale prices passed $4 per head on Dec. 12.