YUMA, Ariz. — The price of iceberg lettuce sold in Chicago doubled in late January, going from $12 per 24-count carton on Jan 5 to $26 per carton on Jan. 19, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Portal.
Romaine lettuce wholesale prices also increased significantly. Romaine 24-count cartons were $14 to $18 per carton on Jan 5 and went up to $24 to 28 per carton on Jan. 21. Romaine hearts went from $18 to 22 for a twelve three-count packages on Jan. 5 to $28 to 30 per carton on Jan. 20th.
The cause of the sudden increase has been linked to sclerotinia fungus damage in Arizona and California, the produce magazine The Packer reported, noting that cold January temperatures also factored into the damage.
Prices had decreased slightly earlier this week for both varieties of lettuce, although growers have predicted that supplies will remain below normal in the coming weeks.