Commodity: Coconuts

Coconuts

Commodity Overview

Even if consumers don’t generally buy coconut, they are familiar with it. Coconut is an increasingly important part of the tropicals mix as its sales continue to rise. Play on the increasing awareness of coconut’s health benefits to benefit your bottom line.

Facts

  • Coconuts are rich in vitamin C, which is a cancer-fighting antioxidant. They also contain plenty of protein, which makes them a nutritious and filling snack. Coconuts contain potassium, which can help to lower blood pressure.
  • A 3.5-ounce serving of coconut contains 346 calories, 23 mg sodium, 256 mg potassium, 256 mg ascorbic acid and 1.7 mg iron.

Sales Strategies

  • Plenty of cross-merchandising opportunities are available for coconut. Consider cross-promoting it with coconut oil, coconut milk, baked goods, salad fixings and pie ingredients.
  • Coconut is available for most of the year. Include it in tropicals promotions year-round.
  • Fall: Promote coconut as a good choice for back-to-school lunch boxes. Offer already cut coconut to speed up the process.
  • Winter: Coconut is a natural choice for many holiday baked items. Include both whole and shredded coconut as part of your holiday promotions.
  • Spring: Promote shredded coconut as a great topping for salads.
  • Summer: Include shredded coconut in ice cream promotions as a topping for the tasty summertime treat.
  • Use sampling to show consumers how to crack a coconut and dig out the meat as well as give consumers a taste of coconut.
  • Give consumers new ideas for how to use coconut. Include recipes and preparation tips in your display.

Dynamic Displays

  • Although coconuts look sturdy, they are more fragile than they look. Stacking coconuts can cause the shells on the bottom to crack, so don’t display coconuts more than 1-layer deep.
  • Place coconuts near bananas and pineapples as people tend to associate these fruits together. Consider putting them in a small basket in front of the banana or pineapple display.
  • Use coconuts as a color break between mangoes and bananas to show off the bright colors of those fruits.
  • Include coconut oil, coconut flour and shredded coconut in your display to encourage consumers to buy coconut in all its forms.

Food Service

  • Coconut milk is a great substitute for regular milk in puddings, pies and custards. Make coconut milk from fresh coconuts by blending equal amounts of grated coconut and water until thick and pulpy. Steep for 30 minutes and strain through cheesecloth. Freeze drained coconut milk for later use.
  • Shredded coconut adds a touch of glamour to salads and desserts. Shred your own coconut for a different taste than processed coconut. Shred and toast it, then sprinkle it on everything from the main dish to dessert.
  • Coconut is a popular flavor in baked goods. Coconut cream pie is an obvious choice, but you can use it in fillings and cakes as well.
  • Include coconut chunks on a fruit tray or in a fruit salad.
  • Add shredded coconut to your salad bar.

In The Backroom

Shipping

75 to 80-lb. bags, 40 to 50 count 42-lb. cartons, 24-30 count 12-count plastic mesh bags RPC 6419, 6420

Grades

The U.S. has no grade standards. Puerto Rico Grades (for dry husked coconuts) P.R. No. 1 P.R. No. 2

Handling

Temperature: 32 to 35 F, 0 to 2 C Relative humidity: 75% or less Typical shelf life: 1 to 2 months Mist: no Coconuts do not need to be misted, although some retailers do so to prevent cracking and drying. Whether effective or not, water will not hurt coconuts, which are one of the most waterproof fruits. At room temperature, coconuts can be held for two weeks without serious loss of quality. Extreme temperatures should be avoided. Cracks can occur when there is a sudden 15 F temperature change.

Availability

Nutrition Labels

Equivalents

11⁄2-lb. coconut = about 3 cups grated flesh

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