The tomato is considered one of the most popular vegetables in current Western culture, although it’s actually a fruit! The wild tomato originated in the Andes in South America. It was then cultivated by the Incas and Aztecs in Mexico around 700 A.D. The word “tomato” is derived from the Aztec word tomatl. Tomatoes were delivered to Europe by homeward-bound Spanish conquistadors in the fifteenth century. North America was introduced to the tomato from Europe in the eighteenth century.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, lycopene, magnesium, and iron. They come in a large variety of size, shapes, and colors. Cherry tomatoes are direct decedents of the wild tomato and the first tomato species to be domesticated. They range in size from the tip of a thumb up to the size of a golf ball. They can range from spherical to slightly oblong in shape—the latter of which are known as grape tomatoes and share characteristics with plum tomatoes. California-grown cherry tomatoes are bursting into season and tasting wonderful. Their flavor is a fine balance of sweet and tart. Add these delicious summer treats to your order today!
Showcase Summer’s Abundance in Small Spaces
With so many wonderful seasonal summer offerings, it can be challenging to decide what products to bring in when you have a smaller department and less space to work with. Don’t let space limit you! It is very feasible to build an eye-catching display with many varieties and products in a small space. Here are some great tips and suggestions for small stores to make a big impact in their produce departments.
- Use Baskets & Bowls: Utilize small attractive baskets in tight spaces to separate similar looking products like red plums, black plums, and pluots. This can help avoid confusion and also let you bring in all the varieties you’d like. It is worth investing in a few nice bowls and baskets. They can be used throughout the year and add a nice touch to displays.
- Show Variety: Create a focal-point harvest display that offers a little bit of everything. Bringing together small amounts of everything from stone fruit, tomatoes, berries, and corn captures the feel of summer all in one display. These kinds of eye-catching displays excite customers and encourage larger purchases.
- Fiber Pint Baskets: A growing trend in produce is the use of fiber pint baskets for berries, stone fruit, specialty peppers, and cherry tomatoes. This reduces customer handling by encouraging customers to buy the whole basket and also beefs up displays by making an area look fully stocked when you are actually putting out less product.
- Signage: As always, make sure to offer clear signage on all displays and product varieties. Variety names can be written directly on the handle of paper totes if you don’t have room for a separate sign.
New & Exciting!:
- Babcock Peach*: White flesh. Large and luscious fruit. Sweet, juicy, and aromatic freestone.
Did you know…freestone refers to stone fruit with pits that are easily separated from the flesh when the fruit is ripe?
- Castlebright Apricot: Beautiful bright orange exterior with slight red blush. Firm flesh with a tart-sweet flavor.
- Dates*: From United With Earth label. Medjool, Deglet Noor, coconut date roll, and almond date roll varieties available. Excellent taste and in great supply.
- Flame Grape*: Paper totes of flame grapes available from Benzler. Sharp pricing and strong supply.
- Honeydew: From our exclusive grower Rundle Family Farms. Green and orange in great supply with sharp pricing.
- Kent Mango*: Mexico-grown and in great supply. Fair Trade will be available through August. Sweet, succulent flavor and near fiberless flesh. Flesh is a deep orange hue.
- Shishito Pepper*: In great supply and looking great. Clamshell packs are in steady supply. Fresh peppery flavor and slightly sweet.
- Acorn Squash*: Orange and green varieties in good supply. Skin is inedible, hard, and ribbed. Firm flesh tastes sweet with a mellow nuttiness.
- Asparagus: Mexico-grown and in steady supply. Sharp pricing.
- Green Bean: California-grown and in steady supply.
- Broccoli: In very strong supply with sharp prices coming down.
- Brown Turkey Fig*: In great supply. Rusty red to purplish skin and richly pink-toned flesh that tastes sweet and honeyed.
- Celery: In strong supply with sharp pricing.
- Darksweet Cherry*: In good supply and tasting amazing! Rich mahogany red color. Firm and juicy with an intensely sweet and vibrant flavor.
Did you know…cherries are a nutritional powerhouse? They are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, melatonin, and anthocyanins—compounds that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cardiovascular benefits. Retailers should try adding signage touting the health benefits of cherries to inform customers that are focused on buying healthy options during the pandemic.
- Heirloom Tomato: California-grown and in strong supply.
- Plum: Black and red plums in great supply with sharp pricing.
- Seedless Watermelon Bin*: In strong supply from our exclusive grower Rundle Family Farms. Vibrant red and juicy flesh tastes amazingly sweet.
- Specialty Mushrooms*: Lion’s Mane, Morels and golden chanterelle mushrooms available for pre-order. Talk to your Account Manager if you’re interested in ordering!
- Bell Pepper: Orange and yellow bells limited in availability.
- Eggplant: Globe in limited supply. Ping Tong Long available in limited numbers.
- Leek: Tight supply with high prices.
- Lemon: Availability has improved but remains limited with slightly high prices. Meyer lemons gapping.
- Pluot: Limited but volume is expected to improve by mid-July.
- Roma tomato: Mexico-grown fruit is gapping. California-grown is very limited.
- Slicer Tomato: In steady supply but in limited numbers.
- Tomato-on-the-Vine: Very limited in supply.
- Young Thai Coconut: Gapping in supply.
Done for the Season:
- Dazzle Apple