Commodity: Organic Artichokes
Organic artichoke sales grew nearly 16% in 2018, and organic’s share of total artichoke sales increased to more than 3%. Organic artichokes appeal to a small niche of consumers, so focus your marketing and displays to appeal to shoppers who are looking for the tasty thistles.
For more information on variety characteristics, visit our conventional artichokes page.
Promote organic artichokes with similarly priced items like organic berries, mushrooms and prepared vegetables. Include organic artichokes in organic-only promotions and cross-merchandise them with organic butter and lemon juice.
Create an organic stuffed artichoke promotion and include all-organic items found in a recipe for stuffed artichokes. Display all the items together and include a recipe card.
Promote organic artichokes as a green side dish for Mother’s Day and Easter. Be sure to include them in grilling promotions during the summer. Offer preparation tips as part of your display.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of sampling to move organic artichokes. When consumers can see how easy they are to prepare and how good they taste, it’s easier to move them off the shelves.
Display organic artichokes either next to conventional artichokes or in the organic section. While keeping conventional and organic together makes it easy for consumers to find, placing artichokes in an organics-only section may alleviate the sticker shock of their higher price tag. Offer information on how organic artichokes are grown on your display to let consumers know the reason for the higher price.
Handle artichokes correctly by keeping them at 34 degrees and keeping them moist. Stack them stem to stem to make them easier to pick up. Keep your display fresh by removing dark or wilted artichokes from the display.
Use artichokes as a color break between items like tomatoes, carrots, summer squash or eggplant. Their unusual texture can also help break up an otherwise boring display.
In The Backroom
Organic artichokes are most-often shipped in 12-, 18- and 24-count cartons for extra large sizes and 30-36-count cartons for large sizes. Cartons of long-stem organic artichokes are also available.
U.S. No. 1
U.S. No. 2
12 = extra-large
15 = extra-large
18 = large
24 = large
30 = medium
36 = medium
48 = small
60 = small
72 = small
large loose (baby)
small loose (baby)
Temperature: 34 to 38 F, 1 to 3 C
Relative humidity: 95%
Artichokes are subject to darkening, wilting and molding. Check the base end of the bud for signs of worm injury. Although it may appear negligible on the outside, the path may run deeply into the heart and cause extensive waste.
Serious discoloration often indicates damage from bruises or a lack of freshness. The bruises may appear as dark off-color areas at the site of the injury and mold or decay also may develop.
Over-mature product often is woody and may be undesirably strong-flavored.
Hard-tipped leaf scales that are opening or spreading signal over-maturity.
Center formations may be fuzzy and dark pink or purple in color. Artichokes should be selected according to season.
Look for rounded, heavy, compact and plump artichokes with good green color and tight leaves.
Artichokes will be flared and conical in shape. Some fall artichokes may have white to bronze outer petals because they have been touched by a light frost. The artichokes should be somewhat heavy for their size.
Select artichokes that are heavy, compact and plump. Some blistering may be caused by light frost, which causes a white to bronze appearance.