Commodity: Limes


Commodity Overview

Limes may not be a huge draw in the produce department, but they are an integral part of the produce mix. Asian and Hispanic consumers seek them out, and when marketed well, other consumers will be looking for them as well.


  • Besides being a great garnish for drinks and a way to add flavor to many dishes, limes are also good for your health. Limes, like all citrus, are great sources of vitamin C, a cancer-fighting anti-oxidant. They are also a good source of fiber, which aids in digestion. Limes have been shown to have antibiotic properties in studies done on the addition of lime juice to diets in Western Africa. They have a low glycemic index, making them the perfect food for those with diabetes.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for limes: fat-free, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie, a good source of fiber and high in vitamin C.

Sales Strategies

  • Limes offer up a host of cross-merchandising opportunities, including seafood, beer, liquor, tea and pie ingredients.
  • Limes are available year-round, so offer them up on promotion seasonally.
  • Fall: Include limes in football game-day promotions as they are a popular addition to guacamole. Promote key limes during their short window in the fall.
  • Winter: Include limes in holiday promotions as a garnish for both alcoholic and nonal-coholic drinks. Promote limes as an addition to holiday baking supplies. Include limes in Super Bowl promotions.
  • Spring: As the weather warms and people head outside, they begin to think about get-ting in shape for swimsuit season. Promote limes with other juicing fruits and vegetables and supplies. Include limes in Cinco de Mayo promotions.
  • Summer: Include limes in summertime lemonade stand themes.
  • Offer specials on limes that coordinate with specials on beer and alcohol.

Dynamic Displays

  • Promote key limes heavily when they are in season. Their short availability window means that consumers who want them don’t have long to find them. Offer key limes as an addition to your regular lime display when key limes are in season.
  • Avoid stacking limes. Their irregular shape means they are more likely to roll off the display and create a mess than they are to stay in a stack.
  • Display limes next to lemons as consumers usually associate the two citrus fruits with each other. The green and yellow peels also make a striking color contrast.
  • Offer both bagged and bulk limes to make it easy for consumers to find what they are looking for.
  • Offer different sized limes so consumers who are looking for a garnish as well as those looking to use it in recipes can find what they are looking for.
  • Include a secondary lime display in the liquor department if your store has one.

Food Service

  • Limes complement seafood and meat. Add their tangy flavor to meat and seafood marinades and dishes.
  • Use lime wedges as a plate or drink garnish.
  • Hollowed out limes can be used as an interesting bowl for condiments or salad dressing.
  • Squeeze limes when they are at room temperature to get the most juice.

In The Backroom


40-lb. cartons (California, Mexico) 38-lb. cartons, bruce box (Florida) 10-lb. cartons, pony box 2-lb. mesh bag True count box (Mexico) RPC 6416, 6419, 6420, 6423 Foodservice packs 10- and 38-lb. cartons 5- and 20-lb. packs 3-lb. bags


U.S. No. 1 U.S. Combination U.S. No. 2


Temperature: 55 F, 12.8 C Relative humidity: 85-90% Mist: yes Typical shelf life: 14 to 28 days Odor producer (Do not store or transport odor-sensitive items with commodities that produce odors. Limes produce odors that will be absorbed by meat, eggs and dairy products.) Highly sensitive to freezing injury. (Likely to suffer injury by one light freezing.) Susceptible to chilling injury (Damage sometimes is not apparent until produce is returned to a higher temperature.) Extended storage at temperatures below 50 F causes brown pitting. Keep product out of sunlight, which causes limes to turn yellow and deteriorate. However, subjecting limes to strong sunlight often will cause the juice content to rise. Keep cartons off the floor to prevent dampen-ing. Store in a well-ventilated area. If it is necessary to hold limes overnight or over weekends, keep them refrigerated. Avoid putting limes in contact with ice, which can cause overchilling.


Fresh Trends

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Nutrition Labels


1 medium lime = about 1/4 cup juice

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