Fresh Crop Report: Heat, Watermelon, and Summer Beverages


FCR Report

Week of July 15, 2018


  • Markon First Crop® (MFC) Premium Green Leaf Lettuce weights are higher on average than the rest of the industry (22 to 24 pounds compared with 19 to 21 pounds)
  • Heat-related quality and shelf-life issues are expected to develop in various row crops from the Salinas, Santa Maria, and Oxnard regions.
  • Cold-chain management will be especially critical throughout the entire supply chain due to the longer, warmer summer days across the U.S. and Canada.

Produce Overview


  • The market is elevated
  • California volume has fallen


  • The Mexican season will end later this week. Harvesting is transitioning to California’s San Joaquin Valley growing region
  • Prices are expected to rise, but will stabilize as volume increases.


  • Supplies remain extremely tight
  • Substituting sizes and grades will aid in order coverage

Ask a Markon Chef

Q: Summer is an ideal time to menu creative beverages. What fruit- and/or vegetable-based beverage recipes do you suggest?

A: The holy trinity for me consists of strawberries, bananas, and mangoes. These three fruits marry together well in smoothies, with yogurt and ice cream, or in beverages like lemonade and iced tea.

  • Frozen fruity wine pops and slushies are all the rage this summer; make with Riesling, rose wine, or schnapps, and raspberries, watermelon, or pineapples.
  • Pressed juices meet consumer demand for clean, healthy eating; try blending apple, beet, and ginger or carrot, strawberry, and lemongrass.

Tips for Serving Watermelon

  • Combine watermelon chunks, chopped MFC Tomatoes, and chunks of MFC Cucumbers with vinaigrette flavored with MFC Basil; serve over flank steak.
  • Add chopped watermelon, MFC Cucumbers, MFC Mint, and MFC Baby Dill to cooked couscous; serve with grilled chicken kebabs.
  • Toss Ready-Set-Serve® (RSS) Romaine Hearts with watermelon cubes, crumbled applewood-smoked bacon, RSS Sliced Celery, and chopped red radishes; serve with Champagne vinaigrette.

Read the Full Report