‘Tis the season for citrus! Among the sea of oranges, tangerines and grapefruit, one classic variety shines brighter than them all. The Cara Cara 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. Although they may look like any regular navel orange on the outside, the flesh is a surprising and beautiful orangey pink-red color. The pigmentation is due to carotenoids such as lycopene. Cara Caras are seedless, have little to no pith and separate easily from the rind. They taste sweet with low acid. Cara Caras bring a much-appreciated pop of color and flavor to the cold winter. Add some to your order today!
Preparing for the New Year’s Health Resolutions
Although the holidays are not quite over, it’s time to plan for the New Year! Expect customers to flood your produce department after the New Year to kick off their new diets, cleanses, juice fasts and resolutions to eat healthier. Here are some things you can do to anticipate needs and provide items your customers will be looking for:
- Fresh-Cut: Offer an abundance of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables to your customers. Many customers will be looking for easier methods of making healthy meals such as pre-diced butternut squash or onions. These are great items to push to new cooks or for customers looking for time-saving options.
- Juicing: Stock up on popular juicing produce items such as apples, citrus, cucumbers, celery, ginger, turmeric, carrots, beets, spinach and kales. The Master Cleanse is a juice cleanse that has gained popularity in recent years. This is a liquid cleanse that consists of fresh squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Prepare for high volume on lemons and try cross merchandising jugs of maple syrup and shakers of cayenne close to your lemon display. Celery juice is another very popular health trend that has been seemingly everywhere. Put up recipe and informational cards near popular juicing items.
- Recipes: Newly resolved shoppers are highly receptive to your product suggestions. This is the perfect time of year for have recipes sprinkled throughout the department. Meatless meals that focus on winter squashes, potatoes and mushrooms are great suggestions. Quick, easy smoothie recipes using seasonal produce are a good way to feature specific items. There is really no end of healthy choices to direct customer to in your produce department.
- Citrus: With winter, comes cold and flu season. Citrus is an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C. We are in the peak of citrus season, so make sure to provide a great selection of oranges, mandarins and grapefruits so your customers can take preventative measures to stay healthy. Put up educational shelf-talkers on the health benefits of citrus.
This is the best time of year to win over new shoppers. Show off your best customer service skills and impress shoppers with your offerings to retain them for the New Year.
New & Exciting!:
• Granny Smith Apple*: From new grower Robin’s Nest Farm out of Watsonville, California. One of the best-tasting apples this season! Tart and acidic, with a balanced sweet flavor. Bright white flesh and crisp in texture. Medium to large in size. Availability is expected to end the first week of January. Add these to your order today!
• Berry: Mexico-grown strawberries and blackberries are now available and in good supply.
• Nagami Kumquat: Most common variety found in the U.S. Small, bite-sized, and oval shaped. Slightly bitter edible peel. Juicy pulp that tastes tart with a slight sweetness. Perfect to make into jams and jellies!
• Cara Cara Orange*: Looks like a typical orange on the outside, with orangey pink-red flesh. Sweet, slightly tangy flavor with low acid.
Did you know that the name “orange” actually refers to the fruit’s scent, not its color? “Orange” comes from the Sanskrit term for the orange tree, “naranga,” which comes from the Tamil word “naru,” meaning fragrant.
• Ruby Grapefruit*: In good supply from our exclusive grower B&J Ranch. Yellowish peel with areas of pink and green blush. The interior flesh is segmented with salmon pink-red flesh with sweet juicy flavor and some seeds. Refreshing sweet-tart flavor.
• Heirloom Tomatoes: California-grown heirloom tomatoes in good supply from Ram’s Farm. They arrive green, but ripen up nicely! Talk to your Account Manager to order.
• Onion: We now carry 25-pound boxes from Peri & Sons. Sweet, yellow, red and white onions boxes are in great supply. Talk to your Account Manager if you’re interested in this smaller pack type!
• Black Turmeric: A very rare herb. The main stem, or rhizome, may have smaller rhizomes branching out. The outer part is light brown. The flesh is bluish-purple. Pungent, camphor-like smell. Tastes somewhat bitter with an earthy, hot flavor. Has the highest concentration of curcumin of any plant species. A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Can be used medicinally, in smoothies or juiced. Try a shot for New Years! Truly a super-food!
• Green-Skin Avocado: Locally-grown domestic Bacon, Zutano, Fuerte and Pinkerton varieties. Ask your account manager for details on qualities of each type, and size and price options to match your needs.
• Beets: Topped beets from our exclusive grower Road 20 Farms are beautiful. Clean and uniformly sized. Add these to your order today!
• Berries: Blueberries and raspberries in great supply from Mexico. Bagged cranberries have sharp pricing and volume deals are available.
• Brussels Sprouts*: California-grown sprouts are back and in great supply.
• Cauliflower: In good supply with promotional pricing.
• Persian Cucumber: In great supply with sharp pricing.
• Oyster Mushroom*: In great supply with sharp pricing. They are looking great with dark grey coloring. Subtle, savory anise flavor.
• Hedgehog Mushroom*: Pale orange-tan color. Irregular shape with flattened, depressed cap and thin stem. Spines, rather than gills, hang down from the underside of the cap. White tissue with a fruity aroma. Chewy texture with earthy, nutty, peppery and smoky taste.
• Pepper: Pricing on orange bells are slowly coming down.
• Basil: Rain has affected California-grown crops and we are getting as much as we can.
• Meiwa Kumquats*: Entirely edible–skin, seeds and all! While the flesh is tart, the aromatic peel provides a balanced sweet-tart taste when eaten whole. Store at room temperature for up to a week and then refrigerated for an additional three weeks. Gapping for one week, returning by end of December.
• Slicer Cucumber: In extremely limited supply with high prices.
• English Hothouse Cucumber: Gapping
• Grape: California-grown red and black grapes are winding down and expected to end shortly.
• Mango: California-grown Keitts are winding down.
• Melon: Mexico-grown mini watermelon and cantaloupe gapping. Limited supply due to stormy weather conditions.
• Pomegranate: Winding down and very limited in supply.
• Pepper: Jalapenos and green bells are very tight in supply.
• Sunflower Sprouts: Extended gap due to cold and wet weather conditions.
• Zucchini: Prices are extremely high with limited availability.
• Tomato: Roma tomatoes are very limited with high pricing. Cherry and plum tomatoes are extremely limited with high pricing.
• Eggnog: Winding down.
Done for the Season:
• Susan Avocado
• Green Grapes