Things are looking healthy on the green bean front. “Supply of green beans is looking very good. The weather conditions are very good so supply is very good,” says Paul DeFranco of Los Angeles, Ca.-based DeFranco & Sons. “We’re getting beans from Baja and Mexico and I think we have more beans than last year. It’s not a tremendous amount more but a greater amount for sure.”
Demand seems to be on the rise as well, in part, says DeFranco because of the way beans are more commonly packaged nowadays. “The supermarkets aren’t displaying green beans in bulk any longer. It’s all packaged now and it does make a difference with consumers,” he says. “The demand is so great that if I had 20 truckloads of beans a day, I could run them. That’s how good the demand is.”
Prices also seem to see a continual pick up year after year he adds, noting this year’s prices have probably increased by between 5-10 per cent.
The rise of the French bean
The other push behind the bean’s popularity could be the interest in the French bean. “We’re seeing an increase in demand. It could be the texture of the bean or the size customers like—it’s a smaller more tender bean,” he says. In turn, that’s pushed DeFranco to look into tapping into the popularity of this more delicate bean. “I’ve had discussions with a grower who grows the French bean and we’re already planning more production for the summer season,” DeFranco says. “Because everything is set up now through June, so once the summer season starts, we’ll increase production of that.”