Commodity: Beets


Commodity Overview

Beet sales fell more than 7% in 2019 but still account for more than $67 million in annual sales. Focus on the health benefits of beets and encourage consumers to try new ways of preparing them to boost your bottom line.


  • Beets are prime cancer fighters as they contain cancer-fighting antioxidants. Research has shown they are especially effective at preventing colon cancer.
  • Eating beets may offer some protection against heart disease.
  • Beets are high in folate, which can help prevent birth defects.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for beets: low-fat, saturated fat-free, low-sodium (must state that beets contain 140 mg sodium or less per 85g of beets), cholesterol-free and a good source of folate.

Sales Strategies

  • Beets are rarely eaten out of hand, so merchandise them with juicing vegetables and equipment, soup fixings, salad offerings and cheese.
  • Offer beats year-round and have a marketing strategy that works throughout the calendar year.
  • Fall: Include beets in fall soup displays. Encourage consumers to think of cooked beets as a hearty side dish as the weather gets cooler.
  • Winter: Promote beets to health-conscious consumers after the New Year’s holiday. They are packed full of antioxidants and are a relatively cheap addition to the grocery cart for budget-minded consumers.
  • Spring: Beets make a colorful addition to springtime holiday meals. Include them in springtime promotions with items like asparagus.
  • Summer: Beets are a popular juicing item. Their juice offers up the same health benefits as the whole vegetable. Promote them as a healthy juicing alternative to consumers during the summer months.

Dynamic Displays

  • Place beets where they can be kept cool and moist. Mist them to keep them from drying out.
  • Offer beets with their tops on to create a fresh-from-the-field look.
  • The sweetest beets tend to be the smallest ones, so offer smaller-size beets to keep your customers coming back for more.
  • Use beets as a color break between green vegetables. Their eye-popping purple color will draw consumers in.
  • Some consumers may be unfamiliar with how to prepare beets. Include recipes and preparation tips in your display.

Food Service

  • Beets add a sweet flavor to soups and stews. Their unusual color also creates an eye-catching presentation.
  • Beets can be served baked, fried, boiled or pickled.
  • Include beets in salads and on salad bars.
  • Roast beets and serve them as a side dish.

In The Backroom


50-lb. mesh sacks 45-lb. wirebound crates/cartons, bunched 12s 38-lb. cartons/crates, bunched 24s 25-lb. sacks, loose 20-lb. cartons/crates, bunched 12s RPC 6409, 6411, 6416, 6419, 6420 Retail/foodservice packs 12-count bunches per carton


U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2 For each grade, three types are designated: bunched beets with short-trimmed tops topped beets


Good-quality product will be relatively smooth and firm with dark color and unblemished skins. Tops should be young, clean, fresh and tender. Bulk beets should be fresh and dirt-free. Any dry or damaged leaves should be removed. Avoid beets that are shriveled, soft or have flabby skins. To avoid damage, store them in pallet boxes or crates rather than bulk containers. Early- or new-crop beets usually are sold in small bunches with tops attached. Late-crop beets usually are sold topped. Beets are subject to wilting because of rapid water loss and should be kept in sufficiently high humidity. Small beets soften and shrivel faster than larger ones. Before storage, beets should be topped and well-sorted to remove diseased items and those with mechanical injuries. Sorting out suspect specimens will prevent undue shrinkage because of storage decay. Temperature: 32 F, 0 C Relative humidity: 98-100% Mist: lightly Typical shelf life: 30 to 90 days, 10 days for bunched beets Somewhat sensitive to freezing. Can be lightly frozen several times without sustaining serious damage.


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