Commodity: Organic Cranberries
Organic cranberries make up a small percentage of total organic sales, but sales are climbing. Organic cranberry sales rose 32% in 2016, and make up nearly 6% of the category. Average prices for organic cranberries are about twice conventional. Make organic cranberries a part of your organic produce mix, especially around the winter holidays.
Promote organic cranberries heavily during the winter holidays. Cross-promote them with organic turkey, organic stuffing ingredients and organic baking goods.
The window for organic cranberry sales is short, so make good use of it. Start promoting them as soon as they are available in the fall and ramp up promotions through November and December. Promote them in January as a healthy way to start the year.
Nearly all cranberries are sold packaged so they are a good option to display next to their conventional counterparts as cross-contamination is easy to avoid. Keep all cranberries refrigerated and dry as wet, warm cranberries spoil quickly.
Use organic cranberries as the centerpiece of an organic vegetable display around the holidays. Add other typical organic holiday foods, such as sweet potatoes and green beans to make the display a one-stop organic shop for holiday shoppers.
Offer recipes and preparation tips for cranberries. Remind consumers that they can be used in relishes and baked goods as well as be served as a side dish.
In The Backroom
Organic cranberries are most often shipped in cartons of 12 7.5-ounce bags.
for commonly cultivated varieties
U.S. No. 1
Packages stamped U.S. No. 1 are checked by random sampling of 100 berries per lot.
Temperature: 38 to 40 F, 2.2 to 4.4 C
Relative humidity: 90-95%
Typical shelf life: 2 to 3 weeks
Susceptible to chilling injury. Damage sometimes is not apparent until the produce is returned to a higher temperature.
Vent to avoid carbon dioxide buildup and to encourage a uniform storage environment. Do not pack on ice.
Poorly colored fruit can pick up better coloring if held for a few weeks at 45 to 50 F, 7.2 to 10 C. However, sudden temperature increases can cause water condensation within packages.