Corn was first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico approximately 10,000 years ago. It has become a staple food in many parts of the world with production outpacing any other grain! California-grown corn is bursting onto the scene and it’s the perfect time to feature this summer staple.
Corn tastes sweet, succulent, and crisp while having several health benefits. It has high fiber content which aids digestion. It is high in vitamin B and has many essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. Corn is versatile and great for both fresh and cooked applications- roasted, grilled, steamed or boiled! Corn can be incorporated into fresh salads or pureed into dips. Corn can also be incorporated into baked goods liked muffins, cakes, or bread. It can even be used fresh as a delicious pizza topping! Try adding signage and recipe cards to your displays to showcase all the ways customers can use fresh corn.
We will have yellow, white, and bi-color corn available this season. Corn is a summertime essential so make sure you are stocked up for the high demand!
How to Keep Sales Strong Through Summer
Kellie McManus, Produce Manager at Canyon Market in San Francisco, shares her strategies on keeping sales strong throughout the summer season. Kellie has been creating some amazing store displays to attract and wow her customers, keeping them excited and coming back for more. Kellie has been able to grow her produce department sales to almost 50% of total store sales. The average is between 25-30% for most grocery retailers. Here are Kellie’s tips to increasing sales and foot traffic for the summer months:
Must Have Items: Stock up on must-have summer produce like watermelons, little gem lettuces, mixed summer squash, figs, stone fruit, bunched basil, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, avocadoes, and mixed seasonal peppers. All these summer items are in high demand and guaranteed sales. Talk with your customers regularly to see if you are keeping up with what is in demand and items you might not be carrying.
Cross-Merchandise: Use this opportunity to cross-merchandise with other departments! Communicate across departments and find opportunities to work together to build some fun, seasonal displays in unexpected areas in your store.
Get Creative: Keep your customers excited and coming back for more! Take chances with building fun displays. Kellie suggests taking Little Gem lettuces out of the wet rack and incorporating them into a charming focal point display with other items like mixed summer squash and petite sweet peppers creating a unique eye-catching display.
Maintain Displays: Keep displays clean and fully stocked. Regularly cull out any blemished or wilted items. Tidy, abundant displays will attract customers and drive sales.
New & Exciting!:
- Blackberry*: California-grown fruit here now! Tasting delectable and great for bringing color contrast into your displays.
- Corn*: California-grown bi-color and white corn is now here and tasting great! Stock up for summer displays!
- Cranberry Bean*: Also known as borlotti beans. An heirloom variety that must be shelled before use. Brilliant pink-flecked pods encase oval ivory-colored beans that are dappled in the characteristic cranberry-colored markings. Once shelled, the beans can be pickled, dried, canned, frozen, or cooked. Raw beans have a lean, grassy, and starchy flavor. Cooked cranberry beans lose their markings, become tan in color, and tastes sweet, rich and meaty with a creamy texture.
- Goddess Melon*: Oval-shaped with slight suturing and medium coarse netting on the exterior. Resembles a cantaloupe. Soft orange flesh tastes exceptionally sweet and juicy. A staff favorite!
- Orchid Watermelon: Yellow to orange-colored flesh. Sweeter and juicier than most watermelons. Very fragile! Handle with care, but worth the effort. Talk to your Account Manager to keep up with all the specialty melons that are arriving!
- Ping Tong Long Eggplant: Also known as Chinese eggplant. Long and slender in shape. Outer skin is firm and magenta colored. Inner flesh is white, semi-firm, and almost seedless. Flavor is sweet and tender. No bitter notes—even with the skin! Best suited for cooked applications like braising, stir-frying, and grilling.
- Premier Star Apple: Bright, show-stopping red colored exterior. Sweet in flavor with a hint of tanginess.
- Romano Bean*: Broad and flattened in shape. The edible pods cling loosely to a series of small lime green to white colored peas. The beans are crisp, succulent, and have a sweet flavor. Can be used in both raw and cooked applications.
- Hass Avocado: California growers are seeing lots of smaller fruit right now and need help featuring ‘single-serving’ size!
- Jalapeno*: California-grown here now with sharp pricing! Heat up your displays with some beautiful peppers!
- Melon*: Seeded watermelon bins in great supply! Seedless watermelons are in somewhat limited supply but tasting amazing. Click the video below to watch Kerri, VV Field Merchandiser, cut and taste seedless watermelon from Rundle Family Farms:
Mini seedless watermelons in robust supply with promotional pricing. Cantaloupe, honeydew, Hami, and Galia are all in good volume. Mix up your summer melon displays with all the different varieties available! Keep an eye out for specialty melons as they trickle into supply!
- Russet Potato: California-grown ‘taters look great! Still extremely limited, so make sure to talk to your Account Manager to keep up with availability!
- Shallot*: California-grown in good supply and looking great! Elongated, oblong shape with a rounded center, tapering to a point at both ends. Aromatic with a flavor that is milder and more delicate than that of an onion. Crisp and astringent when raw. Develops delicate, sweet, and savory flavors similar to garlic when cooked.
- Tommy Atkins Mango*: Fair Trade in excellent supply with promotional pricing! Broadly oval shaped with a green skin that is covered with dark red blushing and orange and yellow accents. Firm, deep yellow flesh is somewhat fibrous and tastes mildly sweet.
- Yellow Peach*: This season has everyone talking about the great flavor and texture from all growers. Tasting great with sharp pricing.
- Fig: Will be back in strong supply in late-July.
- Lemon: Extremely tight in supply with gaps in supply. Prices trending higher.
- Meyer Lemon: Gap in supply expected until mid-July
- Raspberry: Mexico-grown fruit is done. Possible gap in supply as California-grown fruit is starting up.
- Red Bell Pepper
- Slicing Cucumber
Done for the Season:
- Blood Orange
- Braeburn Apple
- Dazzle Apple
- Lavender Floral Bouquet
- Ojai Pixie Tangerine