Signs of spring are all around us–longer days, warmer weather, and the start of tulips! As the Earth awakens from her winter sleep, these perennial beauties emerge in a variety of colors and species. Tulip flowers may be single or double, and vary in shape from simple cups and goblets to more complex forms.
Tulips are native to Western Asia and were first cultivated in Persia in the 10th century, but they’ve been seen growing as far east as Mongolia and China. They need at least 12-14 weeks of cold to grow, and if temperatures don’t stay cold long enough, then the color of the flowers never comes in, and the shoots may not even bloom.
Tulips flower briefly in the spring and the bulbs become dormant in the summer. Their window of availability is relatively short, so don’t wait, get your tulips before they’re gone for the year!
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” Lady Bird Johnson
Merchandising Springtime Displays
The warmer weather has us all thinking about spring and all the new products that are coming with this season. It’s time to start shifting displays around to showcase the new seasonal items. Here are a few tips to maximize your springtime displays.
- Fresh local flowers are the epitome of springtime. A nicely maintained and well stocked display of flowers is always an attention grabber and creates a strong urge to buy.
- Keep flowers fresh by storing backstock in a cooler and pulling unrefrigerated product off the floor at the end of the day and storing it in the cooler overnight. Remember to cull through flowers daily, pulling wilted and broken flowers from bouquets.
- Berries and flowers are always a winning combination. Displaying these two items together always increases sales in both categories.
- Build focal point displays using several exciting new seasonal items like spring onions, green beans, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, mango and specialty citrus. There are endless attractive options to make your shelves come alive!
New and Exciting
Asparagus: California-grown asparagus supply is picking up. Keep an eye out for more local growers coming as we head into spring.
EverCrisp Apple: Sweet, juicy, and firm – this variety definitely lives up to its name. With a rich and complex flavor profile, this apple stands out from many apples that are juicy & sweet, but don’t have a distinct personality Stays crisp in storage and packs a loud crunch with every bite. Cross between Honeycrisp and Fuji.
Green Gage Plum: The truffle of plums! These have a sweet and rich plum taste with brilliant green skin and green flesh. Try this delicious stone fruit while it lasts!
*Hass Avocado (above): Even though we are supporting local California avocado growers first, we’re happy to report the USDA suspension has been lifted and fresh avocado imports from Mexico have resumed. Everyone hopes prices will relax as a result. New crop domestic supply is improving steadily.
*Nagami Kumquat (right): Smaller than most citrus, kumquats pack big flavor! The first bite is sour, but the flavor then becomes unbelievably sweet, or as we like to say: “nature’s Sour Patch Kid.” This delicious fruit is also certified Biodynamic.
Pixie Tangerine: Seedless, full of flavor, and extra juicy. These tangerines have the perfect balance between sweet and acidic.
Purple Fiesta Fingerling Potato: A small, smooth fingerling with purple skin and dark-purple flesh. Denser texture and slightly nuttier, earthier flavor than white potatoes. Perfect for adding a pop of color to any meal.
Specialty Mushroom: Mushroom madness continues as the demand for ‘shrooms shows no sign of letting up. Hedgehog and Black Trumpet mushrooms are now available and tasting great! Hedgehogs offer a mild, sweet and nutty flavor, while the Black Trumpets are earthy and almost smoky.
Young Thai Coconut: From smoothies to Thai cooking, young Thai coconuts are the best for bringing tons of flavor. Absolutely delicious and amazingly nutritious, young Thai coconuts offer refreshing milky juice and tender white flesh. As opposed to mature coconuts, young coconuts are harvested directly from the tree before they have time to age and drop.
Apple: With the most severe trucking challenges behind us (for now), apple supply remains strong. Fuji, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp all taste great and are very promotable. Check out our bag options for easy grab n’ go displays!
Blackberry: Great quality and readily available supply from Mexico. These sweet berries are bursting with flavor!
Blood Orange: Expect a rich aroma, and very sweet raspberry-like taste with low acidity. The skin ranges from light red to dark orange while the flesh inside is deep red! Try offering these as a sample to showcase the beautiful scarlet color and unique flavor.
Blueberry: As the Mexican season starts up, supply is looking steady.
Kent Mango: Sweet, succulent flavor and near fiberless flesh–no wonder this variety is so popular! Excellent supply and sharp pricing for another week or two.
Murcott Tangerine: Juicy texture, with low acidity, and a very sweet flavor. The thick skin peels easily, and the segments are easy to separate. Mostly seedless.
Red D’Anjou Pear: Sharp pricing. The distinctive dark maroon coloring makes them a perfect addition to displays. Juicy with a fresh and incredibly sweet flavor.
*Royal Mandarin Tangerine (above): A complex blend of tart and sweet, with juicy flesh and skin that’s easy to peel. Perfect for juicing or eating fresh! Check out this ~2 min tasting video on this royally delicious variety. Volume is strong from B&J Ranch, a VV exclusive grower—don’t hesitate to add this item to your springtime promotions.
Ruby Grapefruit: The juiciest, most flavorful grapefruit you’ll ever taste! This classic sweet grapefruit is easy to peel and has few seeds. Expect steady supply for the next several weeks from B&J Ranch, in the Coachella Valley.
Russet Potato: One of the most versatile potatoes out there, Russets are ideal for baking, frying and mashing! Oregon grown–supply is plentiful in all sizes.
*Strawberry (above): Supply remains strong. Sweeten up your spring displays with these Mexican grown strawberries.
*Tomatoes on the Vine (TOVs) (left): Mexican grown fruit is readily available at promotable prices. Add some color to your displays today!
Bok Choy: Aphid pressure is impacting baby bok choy availability. This could affect supply for weeks until new fields are ready and clean.
Lime: Supply is extremely limited.
Orange Bell Pepper: very limited
Romaine Heart: Aphid pressure is impacting production
Specialty Fruit: Goldenberry, Cherimoya and Passionfruit
Zucchini: prices going up
Yellow Squash: prices on the rise
Done for the Season
VV is Hiring!
Our trucking team is looking for a Green Fleet Trucking Manager! This role supports operations for our fleet of sustainable trucks and team of 30+ drivers. If you are highly organized and detail oriented, enjoy working cross-functionally, and have experience with fresh produce logistics, then this might be the job for you!