Commodity: Celery Hearts

Commodity Overview

Celery hearts are the central stalks of the celery plant and are the most tender, sweet and flavorful. They are typically trimmed about 9 inches from the base of the plant and are uniformly cut. In all other aspects celery hearts resemble whole celery.

Varieties

Celery is not typically marketed by variety. Celery hearts are a specific cut of celery.

Facts

  • Celery offers a variety of health benefits. It is a good source of vitamin C, which is a known immune-system booster and can help prevent cancer. Diets including celery have been shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Celery extracts have been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive system. Celery also contains beta-carotene, which has been shown to help with eye health.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for celery: fat free, saturated fat free, low-sodium, cholesterol-free, low in calories and a good source of vitamin C.

Sales Strategies

  • Celery is an ingredient in many recipes so cross-promote it with other items, including stuffing, bagged salads, croutons, salad dressings, soup ingredients and juicing equipment and other juicing vegetables.
  • Celery is available in plentiful quantities year-round. Promote it throughout the year.
  • Fall: Include celery in fall soup displays as it is a staple in soups. Add celery to vegetable trays that you are promoting for football game day parties. Promote celery as a healthy addition to back-to-school lunch boxes. Offer single-serve packs for easy preparation.
  • Winter: Celery is a traditional addition to stuffing, so be sure to promote it with stuffing supplies around the winter holidays. Promote celery with other Asian vegetables around Chinese New Year as it adds flavor to stir-fries.
  • Spring: Include celery in spring promotions centered around salad vegetables.
  • Summer: Promote celery as a quick summertime snack for kids. Cross-promote it with cream cheese or peanut butter.
  • Offer samples of celery with dip or spread with cream cheese or peanut butter to encourage consumers to buy celery as a snack option.

Dynamic Displays

  • Display celery on refrigerated tables and in refrigerated cases to keep it looking fresh. Warm temperatures cause celery to wilt. Remove wilted or damaged product from the display as soon as possible.
  • Offer both stalks and celery hearts to appeal to consumers who prefer the sweeter flavor and shorter preparation time of the hearts.
  • Place celery vertically on the display to create an eye-catching design. Display celery next to carrots or tomatoes to create a complementary color scheme.
  • Offer fresh-cut celery sticks and single-serve packages with dip to appeal to those consumers who want a quick snack but not the work of creating it themselves.

Food Service

  • Include celery in soup as it adds flavor and texture.
  • Stir-fry dishes are the perfect place to add celery.
  • Offer celery in omelets and as an addition to scrambled eggs.
  • Place celery in salads and on salad bars.
  • Use celery curls as a plate garnish.
  • Celery sticks can be used as drink stirrers.
  • Add celery sticks to the children’s menu with dip as an alternative to french fries

In The Backroom

Shipping

Hearts 18 1-lb. bags 12 11/2-lb. bags. Celery hearts come in 12-, 18- and 24-count.

Grades

U.S. extra No. 1 U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2 Not all celery is graded. Ungraded celery is called “unclassified.”

Handling

Temperature: 32 to 36 F, 0 to 2 C Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: yes (Do not mist wrapped product.) Typical shelf life: 14 to 28 days from harvest, 3 to 5 days in store Odor-sensitive. Do not store or transport with commodities that produce odors, such as apples, carrots, bulb onions or pears. Odor-producer. Do not store or transport with odor-sensitive produce. Fresh-cut Store fresh-cut celery at 34 F, 1 C, and keep bags closed until used. Celery will dehydrate if left uncovered. Place product in an ice water bath to replace moisture.

Availability

Fresh Trends

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Nutrition Labels

Equivalents

20 lb. diced = about 2⁄3 standard case 20 lb. sticks = about 1 standard case 11⁄3 lb. = 1 lb. prepared usable celery 1 lb. stalks = 4 cups chopped or sliced 4 cups raw = 3 cups cooked 1 lb. prepared = 4 servings 1 medium bunch = 4 to 6 servings

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