Delicata squash is cylindrical in shape with a green or orange grooved striping on the exterior. This heirloom variety has skin that is characteristically delicate and edible. No peeling required! The firm, thick, and fine-grained yellow flesh becomes wonderfully creamy and sweet once cooked. The seeds of the squash can also be eaten, usually after being toasted. Delicata squash is highly nutritious—a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins C and B.
Delicata squash are unique and eye-catching, making them great to feature in your fall displays. Try adding some fun signage or recipe tips to entice shoppers to try these beautiful gourds!
Prepping for the Holidays
Although we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic, holidays are still happening. The theme this year is smaller gatherings. For some people this means multiple small gatherings over several days. So what does this mean for retail stores? It means business as usual! There is no indication that we should expect produce sales to be down this year. In fact–there are a few reasons to plan for an increase in sales. Restaurants are still not operating at full capacity so more people will be cooking at home—which also happens to be a new hobby for many people during the Covid-era. Online shopping and curbside service have been huge successes for many locations and have really helped to drive sales. Many people are also looking forward to a familiar comfortable holiday event to feel a sense of normalcy. Here are some ways to make sure this holiday season runs smoothly.
- Pre-Packaged Products: Customers will be looking for pre-packaged product this year more so than past holidays. If you are not able to repack product in-house at your stores, look into sourcing packaged items like cranberries, green beans, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Also, offer convenient pre-cut packaged items like celery, butternut and yellow onions. Talk to your Account Manager about pre-ordering these items.
- Stock-Up on Hard Squash: Start bringing in those bins of hard squash and cases of specialty varieties like Honeynut, Butterkin, Black Futsu and Jarrahdale. Standard squash varieties are great but play with eye-catching unique offerings to keep displays intriguing and customers interested. Now is the perfect time to introduce customers to their new favorite squash variety!
- Holiday Essentials: There is so much fantastic produce available around the holiday to keep displays creative and full, but there are many key items to keep plentiful supply of. Stock up on sweet potatoes, yams, russet potatoes, butternut squash, mushrooms, pink lady apples, yellow onions and walnuts. Add color and break up displays with high-demand items like green beans, Brussel sprouts, celery, bulk carrots, cranberries, and Fuyu persimmons. Bunched herbs like Italian parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary are also essential in many holiday recipes.
- Signage: This year in addition to those beautiful displays, providing more recipe cards and holiday meal panning tips for shoppers would be very beneficial for those new to cooking a holiday meal. Make sure to post recipe ideas and shopping lists on your social media accounts too.
- Adjust Future Orders: Lastly, remember to slightly decrease your banana pre-orders the days following the holiday. The week after tends to be slower than normal business and bananas typically are not high on the shopping list. You don’t want to find yourself with over ripe bananas on hand!
New & Exciting!:
- Black-Eye Peas (Fresh): Long lean green pods envelop the creamy white beans—must be shelled before use. Beans have a trademark black circle on the center of the bean’s bell. Firm and resilient texture when cooked, with a distinct nutty and savory flavor. Talk to your Account Manager to order!
- Chestnut: 5-pound mesh bags from Heath Ranch here now! These nuts have a shiny brown, hard, and thin shell. Flesh is a creamy white with a firm, crisp texture. When boiled or roasted, texture becomes starchy and meaty with a mild and slightly sweet flavor.
- Honeynut Squash*: Small in size, averaging 10-13 centimeters in length. Has the traditional shape of a butternut squash with a short, bulbous bottom and long neck. The shiny, smooth rind becomes deep honeyed orange when fully ripe. Flesh is firm, moist, and orange. Contains a cavity with a few, flat cream-colored seeds in the bulbous end. Flavor is creamy, caramel-like, and nutty when cooked.
- Green Kiwi*: California-grown fruit is expected to start the second week of October.
Did you know kiwis are the second most nutrient-rich fruit in the world? Kiwis are packed with an abundance of vitamins and antioxidants!
- Keitt Mango*: California-grown Keitts here now! Oblong in shape with green skin. Flesh is orange-yellow, fiber-free, and has a thin skin. Tangy sweet flavor with honeyed notes.
- Persimmon*: Fuyu variety here now! Thin reddish-orange skin and soft flesh. Squat and rounded in shape. Flavor has notes of pear, dates, and hints of cinnamon. Texture varies from crisp and succulent when young and become tender as they mature. No astringency and edible when firm. Hachiya variety is expected to begin closer to the third week of October.
- Black Grapes*: In great supply! Pouches and paper totes are both steadily available.
- Bosc Pear*: In good supply and tasting great. Flavor is sweet with notes of woody spice. Great to feature in fall retail displays!
- Cantaloupe*: California-grown with sharp pricing from our exclusive grower Rundle Family Farms.
- Corn: In steady supply through October.
- Dragon Fruit*: In very strong supply. Magenta colored flesh. An anti-oxidant superfood!
- Green Bean: In good and steady supply.
- Honeydew: In great supply with volume deals available. Tasting excellent. Talk to your Account Manager now!
- Passionfruit: In great supply with sharp pricing. Round to oval shape with a dark purple exterior. The flesh, also known as the pulp, consists of small and edible black seeds surrounded by a succulent yellow to orange sack. Highly aromatic and with a tropical and sweet-tart flavor.
- Quince: Resembles a large irregular-shaped yellow pear. Strong aromatic fragrance with tropical notes. Flesh cannot be eaten raw and requires cooking to be edible. Becomes a rich candy-like paste when cooked with a deep apricot color and honey flavor.
- Rio Red Grapefruit: Starting back up in better supply.
- Thompson Grape*: In great supply. These seedless grapes taste intensely sweet and flavorful. Have you entered our Marian Farms grape display contest yet? Make sure to submit your entries before the Oct. 11th deadline!
- Tomato-on-the-Vine*: In great supply with sharp pricing!
- Avocado: California-grown Hass are somewhat limited as season is slowing down. Prices are expected to rise.
- Beefsteak Tomato: Extremely limited in supply.
- Berry: Blackberries and blueberries are very limited as domestic crop is winding down and imports are starting up. Raspberries are limited in supply. Strawberry season is winding down and supply is limited.
- Burdock Root: Gapping in supply.
- Cabbage: Green and red cabbage supply remains tight.
- Cauliflower: Continues to be very tight in supply.
- Chioggia Beet: In very limited supply.
- Dry-Farmed Tomato: In tight supply.
- Fig: Continues to be extremely limited in supply. Fires and smoke have significantly affected production in growing regions.
- Lemon: In very tight supply. Inclement weather has affected imports.
- Pea: Sugar snap peas continue to be very limited in supply. English and snow are gapping.
- Sapote: Supply is tight.
Done for the Season:
- Cripps Apple
- Fresh Florals from Full Belly Farm
- Thomcord Grape
- White & Yellow Nectarine