Supplies of herbs look to be steady currently. “The supply hasn’t been an issue this year. We’ve been getting enough supply from the U.S. from states such as New Jersey, Ohio, and California,” says Camilo Penalosa of Infinite Herbs.
He notes that along with U.S. supplies, herbs are also currently coming from Mexico. “Usually, Mexico was around to supply mainly for the winter, but they have been doing a good job in the summer. The rainy season in Mexico hasn’t been as strong as in other years, and that has definitely helped,” he says.
As for demand, there looks to be a bit of a rebalance in demand right now. Given that more people are going out to eat again, food service demand has returned to normal levels. However, retail demand dips at this time of year because consumers are often traveling in the summer or opting to cook simpler, more informal meals. “I do see some specialty herbs being used less as well, and we’re not sure why,” says Penalosa, noting he’s seeing this in herbs such as savory, sorrel, and lemon Thyme, for example. “They were never so big, so it’s not like you feel it in your sales. However, we are seeing it.”
The role of retail
One possible factor could be that retailers are reconsidering the items they’re stocking more lately, and if items are not selling well, some retailers are not continuing to carry them to keep variety in their stock.
So where does all this leave pricing? “Prices have stabilized again. The increases that took place in the last year have stopped going up,” Penalosa says, noting some inputs continue to rise, such as packaging. “However, there’s less alarm than last year.”
Infinite Herbs will stay in production from these regions until the first frost.