Commodity: Organic Celery
Organic celery has a wide variety of uses and appeals to a many different consumers. Celery can be used both raw and cooked in a variety of dishes. With organic celery making up more than 10% of celery category sales, it’s worth giving it some attention in your department.
Organic celery’s versatility lends it to many promotions. Promote it with other organic fruits and vegetables as a juicing option. Include it in organic salad promotions, and don’t forget to add it to soup promotions along with organic broths and noodles.
Appeal to consumers’ sense of tradition around the winter holidays and promote organic celery as an addition to stuffings and salads. Organic celery is a great addition to stir-fries so add it to Chinese New Year promotions.
Don’t forget to appeal to parents looking for healthy snacks for their kids. Promote celery and organic peanut butter together as a quick, healthy snack to add to the lunch box. Offer samples of organic celery with organic dip or spread with organic cream cheese or peanut butter to encourage consumers to buy celery as a snack option.
Organic celery is easy to display next to its conventional counterparts, especially if it is bagged or wrapped to eliminate worries about cross-contamination. Be aware that organic celery’s higher price point, at nearly double conventional, may cause sticker shock for some consumers.
Keep organic celery refrigerated because higher temperatures cause celery to wilt and look less than fresh. Remove wilted or damaged product from the display as soon as possible.
Consider offering both organic celery hearts and celery stalks to appeal to consumers who prefer the sweeter flavor and shorter preparation time of the hearts. Keep an eye on sales to determine if offering both is beneficial to the bottom line. You may choose to only carry organic hearts or stalks if one sells significantly better than the other.
Place organic celery vertically on the display to create an eye-catching design. Display celery next to carrots or tomatoes to create a complementary color scheme.
In The Backroom
Organic celery is most often shipped in 24-, 30- and 36-count cartons. Organic celery hearts are available in 18, 2-count bags.
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U.S. No. 1
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Not all celery is graded. Ungraded celery is called “unclassified.”
Temperature: 32 to 36 F, 0 to 2 C
Relative humidity: 90-95%
Mist: yes (Do not mist wrapped product.)
Typical shelf life: 14 to 28 days from harvest, 3 to 5 days in store
Odor-sensitive. Do not store or transport with commodities that produce odors, such as apples, carrots, bulb onions or pears.
Odor-producer. Do not store or transport with odor-sensitive produce.
Store fresh-cut celery at 34 F, 1 C, and keep bags closed until used.
Celery will dehydrate if left uncovered. Place product in an ice water bath to replace moisture.