Winter citrus is almost in full swing! Cara Cara oranges are just starting up and bring a fun excitement to the season. This super popular orange was first discovered at the Hacienda La Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela in 1976. It is a cross between the Washington Navel and the Brazilian Bahia Navel; they are botanically classified as Citrus sinensis.
Cara Cara oranges appear average from the outside, but don’t be fooled! Cara Caras have juicy flesh that is a surprising and beautiful deep salmon color. Cara Caras are seedless, have little to no pith and separate easily from the rind. Their flavor is richly sweet with low acidity.
Not only are Cara Caras delicious, they also have plenty of immunity boosters to fight off winter colds. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, and folate. The antioxidant carotenoid lycopene gives the flesh its distinct richly pigmented color. Try adding signage to your displays to direct customers looking for nutrient-rich foods!
Winter Merchandising Tips
The official beginning of winter is quickly approaching with the solstice landing on December 21st. I Make your produce department shine with the newest winter offerings! Here are some key items and ways to keep displays interesting and product moving:
- Large Citrus Displays: Lots of citrus varietals are coming on, so make sure you have dedicated space to feature everything! Display different sized citrus next to each other like grapefruit, navels, or tangerines. Satsuma tangerines are a very popular winter citrus that sell well. They are available in convenient five-pound gift boxes that make wonderful displays. Keep an eye out for winter specialty citrus like Pink Variegated Lemons, Mango Oranges, African Shaddock Pomelos, Blood Oranges, Kumquats and Kishu Mandarins– grab some to weave into your displays.
- Color and Texture Breaks: Break up the displays of orb shaped citrus with uniquely shaped winter vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and kales. Color contrast helps draw the eye. Bright yellow lemons are an obvious choice to complement many vegetables, but navels, grapefruit and tangerines have orange hues that contrast well when displayed with green winter veggies. Kiwi is available all throughout the winter months and provides a nice texture break in displays thanks to their brown-fuzzy exterior.
- Cross Merchandise: Try adding juicers or citrus-themed cookbooks next to your large citrus displays to inspire customers. Incorporate nuts or dates in displays to alleviate overly uniform or monotoned areas.
There are so many wonderful winter produce items to display and feature. Get creative and keep your produce displays colorful and fun this season!
New & Exciting!:
- Cara Cara Orange*: Tasting great and in steady supply.
- Ettinger Avocado*: California-grown. Pear-shaped with smooth, thin, edible bright green skin. Add diversity to your avocado displays with this unique, green-skinned variety!
- Ruby Grapefruit*: Starting up from VV Exclusive grower B&J Ranch. Supply expected to be steady and strong. Exterior peel is yellow with areas of pink and green blush, often caused by the cold temperatures the fruit endures in the desert of Southern California. Flesh is segmented, a deep pinkish-red color, and contains a few seeds. Juicy with a sweet-tart flavor.
Did you know grapefruit was created in Barbados when a sweet orange and pomelo were accidentally bred together?
- Berry: Import blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry in great supply with sharp pricing.
- Brussels Sprout*: California- and Mexico-grown in plentiful supply with low pricing. Purple Brussels steady in supply and looking great; available on the stalk as well! Try adding a pop of color to your displays!
- Butternut Squash: In very strong supply. Perfect for colorful hard squash displays.
- Clementine Tangerine*: Petite, bright orange, with a glossy and leathery peel. Easy to peel. Flesh is juicy with a balanced sweet-acidic flavor. May contain a few seeds.
- Cosmic Crisp Apple*: Large and round in size. Extremely crunchy and juicy. Balance of extreme sweetness and acidity. Exterior is a rich red coloring with starburst-like white lenticels—where the name “Cosmic” comes from.
- Garlic*: Super Colossal garlic in very strong supply with promotional pricing.
- Navel Orange: California-grown fruit starting up. Fruit looks and tastes spectacular!
- Zucchini: Flush in supply with very low pricing.
- Zutano Avocado*: California-grown. A super-value with a great price this season. Pear-shaped with thin, glossy green skin. Mild flavor with a fibrous texture.
- Asparagus: Gapping in supply. Supply is expected to pick up in January.
- Bacon Avocado: In a short gap as fruit is sizing up
- Cauliflower: Very limited with high pricing.
- Celery: Supply expected to tighten up. Prices trending up.
- Cherry Tomato: Production and weather issues have affected availability. Limited supply with high prices expected until the beginning of January.
- Dancy Tangerine: Fruit is just starting up, but supply is not expected to last long. The crop is very small this year.
- Floral: Fresh-cut floral growers are going on break for the holidays. Get your last Thomas Farm floral orders in by Monday, December 21st! Ordering will resume in mid-January.
- Frisee: Gapping in supply as growing regions transition. Availability is expected to improve at the end of December.
- Globe Eggplant: Extremely limited in supply.
- Orlando Tangelo: Tasting great. Season is winding down quickly. Grab these while you can!
- Red Bell Pepper: Very tight in supply.
Done for the Season:
- Bartlett Pear
- Bulk Cranberry