Nectarines make up 0.6% of overall produce sales. That may not seem like a lot, but when marketed with peaches, plums, apricots and cherries, stone fruit is a $2 billion a year business at retail. Treat nectarines as an important piece of the stone fruit mix.
- Nectarines offer up a host of health-related benefits. They are a good source of vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system and can help fight cancer. Nutrients in nectarines can help prevent macular degeneration. Nectarines contain beta-carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for keeping skin and hair healthy. The potassium in nectarines can help regulate blood pressure.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for nectarines: low-fat, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and a good source of vitamin C.
- Nectarines are more than just a snack, so cross-merchandise them with a variety of items, including tea, lemonade, bagged salads, fruit salad ingredients and other summer fruit.
- Nectarines are available year-round, but in promotable quantities from spring through early fall. Promote them during peak season to make the most of their season.
- Fall: Include nectarines in back-to-school promotions, especially if kids head back to school in August in your region. They are a portable, sweet, nutritious addition to the lunch box that makes both kids and parents happy.
- Spring: Nectarines are sparse and expensive during the winter months, so start promoting them heavily when promotable quantities appear in late April or early May. Promote them as a healthy addition to salads and as a sweet snack.
- Summer: Summertime is when nectarines hit their stride. They are an easy snack to take on those fun summer outings and vacations. Include them in grilling promotions for those looking for a sweet, tasty, unusual side dish. Market nectarines as a great addition to summertime fruit skewers.
- Offer peaches and nectarines for the same price to move both fruit at the same time.
- Offer consumers a choice by displaying both white-flesh and orange-flesh nectarines. Each has a distinctive taste that will increase nectarines’ appeal. Be sure to clearly label each variety.
- Display nectarines with peaches, plums and apricots to create a large, eye-catching display. Be sure to clearly label nectarines and peaches as their outward appearance is similar.
- Nectarines are fragile, so treat them with care. Avoid stacking nectarines, and do not dump them on the display.
- Post signs telling consumers how to ripen the fruit at home and to avoid putting unripe fruit in the refrigerator.
- Add nectarines to baked goods for a unique flavor that will intrigue your customers.
- Include nectarines in salads and on salad bars.
- Nectarines pair well with meat, poultry and fish. Add them to side dishes like fruit salad.
- Sliced nectarines are a sweet topping for waffles or pancakes. Use them to fill crepes.
- Add nectarines to iced tea to create a summertime flavor.
In The Backroom
5-lb. cartons, loose 25-lb. cartons or 1⁄2-bushel cartons, loose 22-lb. cartons/lugs, 2-layer tray pack 18-lb. cartons/lugs, 2-layer tray-pack (Chile) 9-lb. cartons, 1 layer RPC 6416 Consumer packs Small-sized nectarines packed in bags, commonly 2 lbs. net weight, offer a good opportunity to display two sizes in-store. Principal sizes range from the larger 50 size to the smaller 84 size.
U.S. Fancy U.S. Extra No. 1 U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2
Temperature: 31 to 32 F, -0.6 to 0 C Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 14 to 21 Holding nectarines at room temperature for two to three days will usually be enough to complete the ripening process. Ripening at 65 F (18 C), is optimum, but a range of 51 to 77 F (10.6 to 25 C) is safe. Nectarines are susceptible to dehydration and should always be stored and displayed away from drafts. Russeting or staining of the skin may affect appearance but not detract from internal quality.
- 25% of consumers said they purchased nectarines in the past year.
- Upper middle class shoppers making between $50,000 and $99,999 per year were the most likely economic demographic to purchase nectarines.
- Consumers between the ages of 40 and 59 were the most likely age group to purchase nectarines.
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