Fresh Crop Report: Shortages, Burgers, and Romaine


FCR Report

Week of August 5, 2018


  • Markon First Crop® (MFC) Premium Iceberg Lettuce weights are higher on average than the rest of the industry (46 to 50 pounds compared with 42 to 46 pounds).
  • Lemons are limited and will continue to tighten over the next 7 to 10 weeks. California coastal volume has dropped significantly due to sustained higher-than-normal temperatures. Substituting sizes, grades, and country of origin will aid in order coverage.

Produce Overview


  • Supplies will become limited over the next two weeks
  • RSS Washed & Trimmed Cilantro is sporadic due to erratic quality


  • California Valencia supplies will be limited over the next two weeks
  • An industry-wide shortage of domestic Valencias is expected by mid-August; offshore Navels will be supplemented as needed


  • Prices are easing; ample supplies are expected through September
  • High temperatures are increasing volume, but are affecting quality in some lots

Ask a Markon Chef

Q: Burgers are a perennial favorite. How do you incorporate fresh produce in your meat and veggie burger menus?

A: The James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project has brought awareness to how easy it is to add flavor and decrease fat and calories by mixing minced mushrooms into ground meat. I’ve had success in using other produce items in this way, including grated beets, carrots, and zucchini.

  • Sweet potatoes are another vibrant, earthy vegetable that can be roasted and mashed to flavor quinoa or other ancient grains in veg-based burgers
  • Switch up your basic black bean burger with toppings like mango, avocado, spicy mayonnaise, and baby arugula.

Tips for Serving Romaine Lettuce

  • Grill Ready-Set-Serve® (RSS) Washed & Trimmed Romaine until slightly charred; serve with lemon-chive buttermilk dressing.
  • Puree grilled jalapeno chile peppers, RSS Lime Juice, and RSS Washed & Trimmed Cilantro; chop MFC Romaine and toss with fried tortilla strips, then serve on top of grilled mahi mahi.
  • Offer a traditional Caesar salad using RSS Chopped Romaine, RSS Lemon Juice, RSS Peeled Garlic, olive oil, anchovies, and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Read the Full Report