November Seasonal Produce Picks
You put together an ad planner to draw shoppers in with smart pricing. This is important in a competitive environment, but hot ad prices don’t guarantee a profitable month. What else can create excitement in your produce department? What else can you promote at without simply reducing margins?
Are you really taking advantage of what’s in peak season each month? Are you creating incremental sales by promoting some items that may not be mainstream, but that your customers might try if you explain the seasonal nature or introduce them to an item at its best quality and flavor?
These fruits and vegetables are typically at their best during November! Have your produce department become known as a seasonal food destination!
How-to signage helps shoppers navigate which type is astringent (Hachiya) and needs to ripen, versus which variety can be eaten right away (Fuyu).
- Hachiya Persimmons: Cone-shaped. Must ripen to water-balloon soft for a sweet, custard-like flesh that you can spoon out for eating or add to desserts.
- Fuyu Persimmons: Flat-shaped. Sweet and ready to eat when hard and crunchy or when soft-ripe. Great chopped with apples, pears and pomegranate arils for a fall fruit salads
Pomegranates and POM Arils:
The Wonderful variety organic and conventional Pomegranates from California are heavy and loaded with sweet, juicy arils in November. Fresh pomegranate arils are also available.
Give your customers use and recipe ideas for ways to use fresh Cranberries beyond just Thanksgiving Day. Buy a pack to use and Buy a pack to Freeze promos are smart, since quality begins to decline in December, and this year’s crop goes out of season by the Christmas.
Local, California, Italian and premium Korean Chestnuts are in season for November cooking and baking. Cross-merchandise them with Green Beans and steamed/peeled Chestnut SKUs.
California Almonds and Walnuts:
In spite of high price points, demand continues to grow for Almonds and Walnuts. There are three kinds of sales for these nuts: ingredients for holiday baking, salad topper and healthy snacking.
Merchandise these tasty nuts with sweet potatoes and with holiday baking displays.
Big, sweet and gooey, Medjool Dates have become popular stuffed with cheese or peanut butter for appetizers, in baking and for smoothies.
Late Harvest Apples:
Sweet Fuji, Tart Granny Smith, Tart-sweet Pink Lady, Old-fashioned Stayman, Sweet Cameo, Firm and Tasty Jazz are the freshest apples to promote since they’re picked in October.
Fall Pear Varietals:
Pear shoppers often spend more. Merchandise with cheese, crackers and sparkling cider.
- Concorde Pears: Sweet, all-purpose Pears with green skin and a long neck that can be eaten firm and crunchy or soft and juicy.
- Comice: The ultimate dessert pear. When neck gives to gentle pressure Comice taste very sweet with a buttery texture.
- Forelle: Beautiful freckles on red and green skin characterize this sweet and lightly tangy pear with medium firm flesh.
The September and October harvests are done in the prime growing areas in the South and in California. The Sweet Potatoes (aka Yams) are cured and ready for big retail displays.
Organic Sweet Potatoes:
Premium quality Organic Sweet Potatoes from California are in peak season. Feature multiple varieties for multiple uses:
- Jewel: Red Skin, moist orange flesh
- Garnet: Orange skin, orange flesh – a top seller.
- Hannah: Yellow skin, sweet, semi-dry white flesh.
- Japanese: Also called Oriental Sweets, Purple skin, sweet flesh with a firm dry texture.
- Stokes Purple Sweets: Violet skin with a waxy, sweet and earthy flesh. Purple flesh is loaded with antioxidants.
Brussels Sprouts and Stalk Brussels Sprouts:
Once out of fashion, Brussels Sprouts are now quite popular thanks to recipe preparations like Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. During November, create intrigue and excitement in your wet vegetable set by stocking Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk.
Best availability and quality is during this time of year, just when your customers are thinking about holiday and cold weather cooking.
A French-style culinary Onion with red-white flesh.
Orange and Blue Habbard Squashes:
Local Butternut, Acorn and Spaghetti Squash wind down during November, but the harder varieties like Orange Hubbard and Blue Hubbard remain in season. Hubbard Squash are excellent roasted, boiled and blended for pumpkin soup, or cooked for Pumpkin Pie Filling.
Roots are in. Are you letting your customers know you have the ingredients that are popular in current food trends?
- Parsnips: This savory, white carrot-like root adds big fall flavor to roasted vegetable and soup recipes. Provide use ideas and recipes to inspire purchase and feature Parsnips in your seasonal hot foods bar or prepared foods offering to create demand.
- Celery Root: Also called Celeriac, can be roasted with other vegetables or cooked into soups to add a savory celery flavor.