The Grape Escape

assorted grapes

We are delighted by the summer season’s grape bounty. This very special fruit has been a part of human history for thousands of years—early wine production goes back (in what is now modern-day Iran) to at least 9500 BCE! During World War II, American troops were sustained by grapes in the form of raisins. Grapes are delicious, versatile and can be eaten fresh as table grapes, used for juice, beverage sweeteners and wine, or dried into raisins. There are thousands of varieties available in a dazzling array of colors, shapes and sizes. More are being developed all the time! More simply, most grape varieties can be categorized as red, green, or black, depending on skin color.  

Fun Fact: It takes approximately 90 pounds of grapes to produce 5 gallons of wine or 25 bottles. That equates to more than 3.5 pounds of grapes per bottle! 

Red grapes come in a plethora of colors–from crimson to deep purple hue, and their flavor profiles can range from sweet and juicy to slightly tart and tangy. One of the key components that make red grapes special is their high concentration of antioxidants, particularly resveratrol.  

Green grapes are renowned for their crisp and refreshing taste. They feature a light green to golden color, even light brown or amber and are typically sweeter than red grapes. Green grapes are a great source of hydration, as they have a high-water content. They are also high in Vitamin K and potassium! 

Black grapes are cherished for their intense sweetness and bold flavor. They can range from a deep maroon color to almost jet black, creating an eye-catching addition to any display. Like their red counterparts, black grapes contain resveratrol, making them a heart-friendly option. Less popular in the USA, black skinned grapes are known world-wide as the sweetest of all types. 

Fun Fact: Concord seeded grapes are one of the few fruits native to North America, and are most famous for their iconic ‘grape jelly’ flavor.  

We have a wide assortment of grapes this season including many specialty varieties such as the petite Champagne (AKA Zante Currant), Thomcord (hybrid cross of Thompson Seedless and Concord) and uber-sweet Candy Snap or Mayabelle! Go beyond the familiar green and red seedless (available anywhere and everywhere) and get your customers excited about flavor! Talk to your Account Manager about which grapes are right for you!  


Merchandising News

Grape Tote Display 

Grape Merchandising Tips 

Over time, we have seen growing demand for sustainable packing. In response, grape growers are offering more eco-friendly options. A popular packaging option for grapes are paper totes, which is a great alternative to commonly used plastic pouches or clamshells. They keep the grapes fresh and offer the same protection when stacked for display purposes. Paper totes can easily be recycled or composted! One suggestion is to offer both paper totes and plastic pouches and let customers choose what fits their lifestyle best. Here are some tips for displaying all the different sustainable grape options this summer: 

Keep Product Fresh: Grapes will hold up better when kept refrigerated but will hold up just fine for a day or two on a non-refrigerated table. If you are displaying grapes on a non-refrigerated dry table, the product does need to be pulled at the end of the day and stored in the cooler overnight. Cull out any damaged fruit regularly. 

Build a Large Display: Highlight that you are supporting paper totes and build a prominent display featuring all the grapes you carry in eco-friendly paper totes. Create signage on why you are supporting the switch to paper and how your customers can properly dispose of the packaging once they are home. 

Don’t Stack Too High: No matter if you are displaying totes or pouches, never stack your grapes too high. The grapes on the bottom layer can safely withstand the weight of one to two layers of product without getting damaged. Any more layers than that, you risk damaging the grapes on the bottom. 

Diversify: Featuring more variety means more grape sales. It has been proven that the more colors and variety you offer, the more grapes you will sell overall.  Spread the love and buy all colors and flavors of grapes while they are at their peak! 


New & Exciting! 

Apple: The Koru is Sweet and juicy with notes of vanilla and spice. Good balance of sweet and tart and pack a big crunch! Slow to brown which makes it perfect for snacking, lunchboxes and cheese platters! California’s heirloom apple season has started! The Yellow Transparent from Green Gorge Farms is an early season culinary apple with firm texture. It cooks down easily to a light creamy apple sauce. Also great for freezing, drying, juice and wine. Look for Gravenstein heirlooms coming soon! 

Bartlett Pear: California-grown fruit coming soon! 

Berry: Open pint strawberry from Dirty Girl Produce and open pint blackberry from Star Canyon are here! 

Black Mission Fig: Second crop coming the first week of August! 

Champagne GrapeChampagne Grape (left): AKA Zante Currant. Tiny baby purple grapes with seedless berries. Super sweet and floral—as tasty as they are cute! A real ‘conversation starter’ in your store or at gatherings and picnics! 

Fresh Garbanzo: AKA Fresh Chickpeas do not grow in cans! Fresh garbanzo are green and grow in fuzzy green pods. A common method for preparing the beans is to boil the shelled garbanzo in salted water until soft. Or try charring fresh chickpeas, pod and all, and sprinkling with salt for a tasty snack! 

Fun Fact: Later in the season, garbanzo start to dry in their pods to become dried chickpeas. 

Green Tomatillo (right): Also known as a Mexican husk tomato. Grows in a papery husk and resembles a green tomato—but not related at all. Bright and acidic flavor. May be eaten raw or cooked

Painted Serpent Cucumber: Long, ribbed, striped cucumber resembles its namesake. Tender, mild flavor with no bitterness. 

Retail Greens: Josie’s Organic has come out with three new salad blends as part of their Farmer’s Market Favorites line. All packaged in 5-ounce clamshells. 

  • Heirloom Crisp: Tango, Oak and Lolla Rossa lettuces 
  • Bistro Duo: Oak and Butter lettuces 
  • Sweet Red Butter: Butter lettuce 

Don’t forget to check out their two new vegan chopped salad kits: Aloha BBQ and Avocado Goddess! 

Specialty Melon: Piel de Sapo, Canary, Charentais, Hami and lots more available! Check out our Melon Variety Guide for tasting notes and descriptions.

Sweet Jimmy Nardello Pepper (left): Sweet heirloom variety with mild, sweet, fruity flavor. Perfect for frying! 



Bell Pepper: Green bell pepper and choice red bell pepper are readily available from Rundle Family Farms. Lean into the green and red while orange and yellow bells supply is tight. 

Hass Avocado: Supply is strong on most sizes. Cross-promote with other seasonal items such as tomatoes and stone fruit for inspiring summer dishes!  Flavor and oil content are peaking now through the summer. 

Grape: Green, red and black seedless grapes have steady volume. Many varieties available in eco-friendly paper totes, or clamshells and pouches. 

Heirloom Tomato: Local supply is strong on mixed and single variety ‘straight packs.’ Interested in a specific variety? Let your Account Manager know! 

Mango: Kent will have steady supply until late August. These mangoes are grown in a designated pest-free area of Mexico that qualifies it to be non-dipped (a pest prevention technique used on most organic mango.) This which means they do not require chemical (not used for organic) or hot water treatment—a requirement that disrupts the ripening and compromises the integrity of the fruit. 

Yellow Peach: Supply is plentiful; get in on the promotable pricing! 

Zucchini: Locally grown green zucchini is still going strong. 



Ataulfo Mango: Winding down and ending soon.  

Baby Lacinato Kale: gapping 

Mature Coconut 

Pineapple: Limited; nothing available from our vendors 

Orange and Yellow Bell Pepper: Limited out of Mexico.  

White Peach/White Nectarine 

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