YUBA CITY (CBS13) – Wet weather at the wrong time devastated the prune crop in Sutter County last year.
According to a new report the crop failure left county farmers with $24 million dollars in losses.
The prune crop took such a hit last year the county Ag Commission issued a disaster declaration.
But things are changing this year weather-wise and market wise, with a new generation looking at prunes in a whole new light.
“We are the number one prune supplier in the world,” says Stephanie Harralson of Sunsweet Growers.
At Sunsweet world headquarters in Yuba City, prunes are big business.
But the prune business didn’t fare well in 2016 after a break in the drought hit in March, during the prune bloom.
Half the normal crop – a $25 million loss for growers, and an even bigger hit to the local economy.
But industry experts say this year the prune is making a comeback, in more ways than one.
Better weather this past spring and an expanding consumer base, in what used to be a tough sell.
“We had all those comedians people telling jokes for years that was just in that generation, now we have a new generation that didn’t get all those bad jokes,” says Greg Thompson of the Prune Bargaining Association.
These are your grandparent’s prunes and yet it seems millennial’s aren’t shy about embracing them. Calling them prunes, rather than dried plums, a name used in years past to soften their reputation.
“The young generation doesn’t seem to mind that word anymore, it used to be a real negative, but millennials seem to say prunes –cool!” Thompson said.
According to Thompson, new scientific data is also pumping up the prune.
“Prunes have been shown to prevent bone loss and even reverse bone loss.”
With new interest in gut health and digestion, the prune seems to be changing what some say, has been an unfair reputation.