Greens account for just over $200 million in produce sales each year. However, with an increasing emphasis on their health benefits, there’s room for growth. Encourage consumers to view greens as something more than a traditional southern side dish and watch your sales rise.
- Greens have gained attention lately for their high nutrient value. Greens offer plenty of health benefits. Greens are full of phytonutrients that have been linked to preventing cataracts and macular degeneration. They also contain vitamin A, which contributes to healthy skin and hair. Some greens also contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that has been shown to boost the immune system and help prevent cancer. Swiss chard contains calcium, which is important for maintaining healthy bones.
- The nutrition benefits of certain greens are as follows:
- Collards: A 31⁄2 oz. serving contains 45 calories and 9,300 IUs of vitamin A.
- Dandelion greens: A 31⁄2 oz. serving contains 45 calories and 14,000 IUs of vitamin A.
- Mustard greens: A 31⁄2 oz. serving contains 31 calories and 7,000 IUs of vitamin A.
- Swiss chard: A 31⁄2 oz. serving contains 25 calories and 130% of the RDA of vitamin A. It also contains some calcium and phosphorous.
- Turnip greens: A 31⁄2 oz. serving contains 20 calories, vitamins A and C and some calcium.
- Greens are rarely eaten alone, so use their sales to move other items as well, including salt pork, salad vegetables, salad dressing, croutons and vinegar.
- Many greens are available year-round. Promote them seasonally.
- Fall: Some greens are popular in smoothies, so promote them as part of an after-school snack promotion. Offer smoothie recipes and offer samples.
- Winter: Greens add flavor and nutrition to soups, so include them in winter soup displays. Their traditional role as a side dish is perfect for wintertime promotions.
- Spring: Promote greens as base for springtime salads. Consider offering a mixed bag of greens as part of salad promotions.
- Summer: Greens are a quick and easy side dish for a grilled meal.
- Greens have a multitude of health benefits. Promote them to health-conscious consumers.
- Offer a wide variety of greens to meet the needs of all your consumers. Use plenty of signs and display information that informs consumers about what they are buying. Include preparation tips and recipes on your display.
- Collards are the typical Southern green. Often served with cornbread, vinegar is a favored topping.
- Dandelion greens have a bitter, tangy flavor, but can add flavor and texture to salads or even as a topping for sandwiches.
- Mustard greens can be boiled, steamed or sautéed. They can also be eaten raw in a salad or added to stews and soups.
- When it comes to Swiss chard, only the outer leaves can be cooked as greens. Avoid boiling swiss chard as it causes it to lose its flavor.
- Turnip greens can be steamed and served as a side dish.
- Greens can wilt quickly, so keep an eye on your display and remove any tired product immediately.
- Display greens next to other salad vegetables to get consumers thinking about using them in salads.
- Include preparation and cleaning tips in your display. Sand and dirt can stick to greens, so remind consumers to wash them before preparing them.
- Pay attention when washing greens as they tend to hold onto dirt. Wash them thoroughly, so your customer is not surprised with dirt on their plate.
- Cooking greens will make their flavor milder, so know which greens already have a mild flavor to start. They will need to be cooked a shorter amount of time.
- Greens make a base for salads that will offer customers a different flavor.
- Include greens in soups and stews to add texture and flavor. Blanch stronger-tasting greens before adding them so they don’t overwhelm the soup flavor.
In The Backroom
Collards and dandelion greens 30- to 35-lb. 11⁄2-bushel and 13⁄5-bushel cartons 20- to 25-lb. bushel baskets/crates/cartons 12 to 24 bunches crates/cartons Dandelions can be shipped loose or in bunches. Mustard greens At retail, mustard greens sometimes are offered washed and clipped in film bags of varying sizes. RPC 6416, 6419, 6420, 6425, 6426, 6428, 6432
Collards U.S. No. 1 Dandelion greens U.S. No. 1 The standard is applicable to either plants or cut leaves, but not to mixtures of plants and cut leaves. Mustard greens U.S. No. 1 The grade applies either to plants or cut leaves but no mixtures of the two. Swiss chard Swiss chard is not subject to grading. Turnip greens U.S. No. 1
Temperature: 32 F, 0 C Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: collards and kale Typical shelf life: 10 to 14 days Ethylene-sensitive. Do not store or transport with commodities that produce ethylene. Cracked ice around and in packages may help extend shelf life. Keep at proper humidity levels to prevent wilting. Collard greens should be handled like spinach. It’s normal for mustard greens to show a slight bronze tint.