Strawberry shortage hitting some store shelves - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Strawberry shortage hitting some store shelves

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

If you've had trouble finding strawberries in your local grocery store lately, you're not alone.  

It turns out a nationwide shortage of strawberries has made it's way to western Massachusetts. 

The good news is the shortage is temporary and despite today's snow, the local strawberry crop is right on schedule.

Driscoll's is one of the nation's largest distributors of strawberries.  The California-based company explained to customers across the country, like Big Y, that a trifecta of bad weather in several major strawberry growing regions means less of these to go around.

"The growing season in Florida is past its prime.  In addition to that, there was bad weather in California and Mexico, which helped to create a shortage for this season," said Doug Zimmerman, assistant store director of Big Y in West Springfield.

Big Y told Western Mass News that thankfully, their customers in western Massachusetts shouldn't see an impact.

"We source our strawberries from Driscoll's out in California and we've had a long-standing relationship with them and due to that fact, we've been able to keep a constant supply on-hand and available for our customers," Zimmerman explained.  

However, Zimmerman told us plenty of customers said Big Y is one of the only places they've actually been able to find strawberries.

"Most of our customers that came in were just very happy to come in and find that there are strawberries available," Zimmerman added.

The shortage is not expected to last.  Driscoll's told Big Y that supply levels nationwide should be back to normal within a week or two.   

In the meantime, Western Mass News checked in on one of the largest suppliers of local strawberries in the state:  Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow.  

Despite today's snow, they said that these plants are insulated with a layer of hay and with no buds on the stems just year so far, this year's crops are in good shape.

You may be wondering about the price of strawberries during this temporary shortage.  A group called The Produce Alliance said expect to pay about 10 percent more.  

Here's something to look forward to: strawberry season in Massachusetts, depending on the weather, can begin as early as May and last into the end of June. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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