Published: 10/12/2012

by The Guide 2012



Top 5 Things You Need to Know

  • Taste: Peas have a slightly sweet flavor
  • Selection: Selection depends on the type of pea, but in general, consumers should look for pods with good color. Pods should have good color and not be shriveled or showing obvious signs of decay.
  • Use: Peas can be eaten cooked or raw. They are commonly eaten as a side dish, but they can be added to a cold salad. Sugar snap peas make a great snack.
  • Health: Peas are an excellent source of folate, which helps to prevent neural tube birth defects.


On the shelves


Regular peas come in several varieties, but most consumers won’t be able to tell the difference between them. Sugar snap peas are a variety of peas that can be eaten with the shell on. They have risen in popularity as a snack food when served with dipping sauce. Snow peas are also eaten with the shell on, but they are most often cooked in stir-frys and Chinese dishes.



Include bagged sugar snap peas in your product mix and display them either with the peas or with the bagged salad mixes.



Overcome bad childhood memories of mushy peas by offering serving suggestions and recipes. Include snow peas, green peas and sugar snap peas in your displays year-round. Snap peas are usually available from February through September to round out the category.


Making the sale


Snow peas and snap peas are naturals in stir-fry dishes. Place them next to other traditional stir-fry items such as bok choy, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Include Chinese noodles and soy sauce in the display.



Offer samples of sugar snap peas with ranch dressing to encourage shoppers to think of them as a healthy snack.


Seasonal promotions

Include sugar snap peas on vegetable trays during the holidays and Super Bowl promotions.

No Chinese New Year display is complete without the snow peas. Include them with other traditional oriental items like bok choy.

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you should forget the peas. Include sugar snap peas and snow peas in summer grilling displays. Offer recipes for grilled mixed vegetables.


On the plate

Snap peas are labor intensive as you must remove the strings and shell and wash them before cooking. Don’t overcook your peas. They become mushy and flavorless. Add them last to stir-fry dishes or lightly steam them for a side dish.


Nutrition and health

Health benefits

Peas are high in vitamin C, which provides infection- and cancer-fighting capabilities.


Nutrient content descriptors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for green peas: low-fat, saturated fat-free, low sodium, cholesterol-free, an excellent source of fiber, and excellent source of folate and an excellent source of vitamin C.



At the register

Common PLUs

4673 - black-eyed

4092 - Chinese snow/pea pod

4674 - green

4675 - sugar snap


In the backroom



30-lb. bushel baskets/crates/hampers and 11⁄9-bushel crates

RPC - 6411, 6413, 6416, 6419, 6420


Snow and sugar snap

10-lb. cartons



8 8-oz. packages



25-lb. bushel hampers



U.S.No. 1


There are no federal grade standards for snow or snap peas.



Temperature: green32 F(0 C); snap, 32 to34 F(0 to1 C), snow 33 to35 F(0.6 to1.7 C)

Relative humidity: green, 85-90%; snap, 95%; snow, 50%

Mist: snow and snap, no; green, lightly

Typical shelf life: 7 to 10 days

Ethylene-sensitive (Do not store or transport ethylene-sensitive items with commodities that produce ethylene.)

Moderately sensitive to freezing injury.  (Able to recover from one to two light freezings.)

The best-quality snow peas are 3 to 3½  inches long and 3⁄4 inches wide. Snap peas should be 21⁄2 to3 incheslong.



Pounds sold in 2011 – 23,548,153

Pounds sold in 2010 – 22,211,851


Average retail price per pound in 2011 – $4.79

Average retail price per pound in 2010 – $4.97


Retail sales in 2011 -- $112,779,542                               Percent of total produce sales 2011 – 0.3%

Retail sales in 2010 -- $110,327,419                               Percent of total produce sales 2010 – 0.3%


Figures do not include Wal-Mart sales.

Source: FreshLook Marketing