Leeks are a member of the genus Allium, which is essentially the onion family. They are native to the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. They have been consumed since ancient times, even appearing in ancient Egypt archaeological sites, wall carvings, and drawings!
Leeks can be used in any way that you would normally use an onion. The edible part of the plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths that is sometimes incorrectly called the stem or stalk. The outer layers turn tough, green, and leaf-like, while the inner layers remain tender and white. Leeks have a mild onion flavor that is slightly sweet. The younger the leek, the more delicate its flavor and texture. Leeks are nutritious, low-sodium, and a great source of fiber and Vitamins A, C, and K. Add some to your order today!
Customer Engagement 101
After the health craze and hype of New Year’s resolutions subsides, you may notice customers scaling back on their shopping. Only 8% of Americans keep their resolutions, the rest start to drop off in February. Now is the time to remind customers of their resolutions and keep them focused and interested in their new lifestyle and commitments. Aside from offering the best and freshest product around, make the effort to keep customers stimulated and actively engaged in the store. Try these tips to keep your customers excited and shopping:
- Grower Profiles or Creative signage: Add grower profiles to your displays. If you already do this, switch them out or add new profiles. Seeing a face to place with the name of the farm or product gives customers a small personal connection to what they are buying and why they choose to shop at your store. Creative signage is useful too. Keep it fun and find interesting ways to relay product information.
- Move displays around: If you notice a product has slowed down a bit, change the location. Sometimes, simply moving a product will make it more viable and attractive.
- Creative endcaps: If you are looking to boost movement in a particular item, try displaying the slow mover in an endcap with the high-volume moving product. This will bring attention to your slower-moving product and get you a little more traction.
- Sampling: Now is also the time to raise the bar on your active sampling. Get your crew on board and pick items that are spectacular right now. Train them on how to offer the sample and talk the product up to shoppers. Passive sampling displays are great too. These are less engaging for the customer, but still effective for boosting sales.
- Events: The weather is great right now. Take advantage of the spring weather and hold tasting events outside in your courtyard or sidewalk out in front of your store. Not only will this help high light your great produce but it gives customers a chance to interact with you and allow you the opportunity to talk yourself up and about what your mission is.
- Customer Service: Providing excellent customer service is extremely important to every aspect of the produce industry. If you are looking to attract new customers as well as retain your regulars, take time to develop stellar service skills. Providing an enjoyable shopping experience will keep your customers coming back.
New & Exciting!:
- Dried Mango*: Now available in five-pound bags.
- TDE Tangerine*: In good supply and tasting amazing. A cross between the Temple, Dancy, and Encore mandarins. Seedless with firm juicy flesh. Tastes sweet and slightly tart.
- Purple Garlic*: Medium bulbs that are uniformly rounded with a thick central stalk. Outer layers of the white wrappers are streaked with purple or brown, and the bulb is easy to peel. Cloves taste slightly sweet and very spicy.
- Zutano Avocado*: Grown in California. Egg-shaped green-skin avocado with a light nutty flavor. Extremely sharp pricing. A great variety to mix with high-priced Hass avocados, either at a retail stand or in food service.
- Honeycrisp Apple: Tasting great with extremely sharp pricing. Crisp, aromatic, with a pleasant sweet-tart flavor. Talk to your Account Manager about pallet deals!
- Asparagus: Supply is steady with sharp pricing on import. California-grown asparagus is expected to come on the first week of March.
- Avocado*: Bacon and Fuerte avocados are almost done for the season. Add these delicious green-skin avocados to your orders before they’re gone!
- Leek*: In great supply. Flavor is earthy, mild, and onion-like. Texture is crunchy when raw and silky when cooked. Considered to be one of the sweetest and mildest members of the onion family.
- Jicama*: In great supply. Oval-shaped tuber with rough brown skin, and juicy, crisp, white flesh. Tastes somewhat sweet with a texture similar to a water chestnut.
Did you know…Jicama is considered a superfood? It packs a prebiotic called inulin, a big contributor to gut health. Jicama is also rich in Vitamin A and C.
- Turnip: Purple-top turnips are looking sharp and in great supply.
- Arugula: Limited in supply due to rain affecting growth and harvest schedules.
- Baby Greens: Cold and rainy weather has affected baby kale and baby arugula production. Remain limited.
- Baby Broccoli: Limited in supply.
- Cucumber: Supply is extremely tight with prices on the rise. Inclement weather in Mexico has affected production. Persian cucumbers are gapping.
- Hodo Soy Tofu: Limited availability of 20-pound firm tofu. High demands have outpaced production. Talk to your Account Manager to keep up to date with supply.
- Passion Fruit: Limited in supply due to intermittent harvesting.
- Red D’Anjou Pear: Limited in supply.
- Sugar Plum Tomato: Supply is limited with higher pricing due to cold weather in Mexico.
- Tarragon: Gapping.
- Yellow Squash: Extremely limited due to inclement weather in Mexico.
- Zucchini: Supply is extremely tight with prices on the rise. Inclement weather in Mexico has affected production.
Done for the Season:
- Makrut Lime
- Page Mandarin
- Satsuma Mandarin