Company Updates, Food News

When are foods in and out of season at PricePally? 

“In season” and “off season” are regular labels on Pricepally. Learn what they mean and how they affect food pricing, quality, and availability.

“In-season” and “off-season” are labels you see while shopping on Pricepally. We’ll explain their meanings and effects on food production and pricing. 

In-season and off-season: What do they mean? 

“In season” means the peak harvest period. Food is abundant and of the best quality during this period. 

Weather conditions play a major role in the seasonality of food items. For example, tomatoes mature under warm weather conditions. While you can plant tomatoes any time of the year, the dry season (December–early March) is its peak harvest period when there’s little or no rain.

On PricePally, in-season foodstuffs are:

  • cheap
  • abundant
  • fresh

In contrast, plant crops produce a low or poor yield during the off-season. For instance, the rainy months aren’t the best time to plant or harvest peppers. The excess rain and the high presence of insects affect its growth. As a result, the dry months are the best harvesting period for peppers in Nigeria. 

When food items are marked as off-season on Pricepally, they’re likely to have the following characteristics: 

  • expensive 
  • scarce
  • unstable quality and freshness because of logistics issues during sourcing. 

Is seasonality the only price factor on PricePally? 

Seasonality isn’t the only metric affecting food costs. Governmental policies, insecurity, natural disasters, and disease outbreaks also play a role.

Pest outbreaks, irrespective of the season, will likely cause poor yields. The recent “tomato ebola” outbreak is a case in point. The infection was a major reason tomatoes witnessed a dramatic price surge in June 2023

Insecurity and natural disasters in typical planting regions also affect food availability, quality, and price. For example, widespread flooding during the 2022 rainy season decreased plant harvests and increased food insecurity

Similarly, government policies, like the recent fuel subsidy removal, affect transportation and labor costs. Regardless of the season, high labor costs will cause a price surge. The food price hike after transportation fares increased significantly in May 2023 supports this point. 

At Pricepally, we outsource our food items directly from farmers and wholesalers to give you the best price. But we don’t control the market. The “in season” and “off season” labels inform you about market trends beyond our influence. Despite rapidly evolving market trends, PricePally is still 40% cheaper than local markets, even during off-seasons.