Commodity: Organic Cucumbers
Organic cucumber sales continue to rise with a nearly 20% increase in 2016, after growing by more than 40% the year before. Organic cukes make up nearly 6% of overall category sales. Make the most of these rising sales by making organic cucumbers a centerpiece of your organic salad vegetables.
For more information on variety characteristics, visit our conventional cucumbers page.
Promote organic cucumbers to health- and environmentally conscious consumers. Make consumers aware of the growing practices surrounding organic products.
Organic cucumbers are a versatile vegetable, so promote them with other organic salad vegetables and organic bagged salads. Include organic salad dressing, croutons and bacon bits in an organic salad promotion.
Don’t forgot consumers who prefer to can their produce. Some consumers like to can and pickle their cucumbers. Merchandise smaller cucumbers with canning jars and spices.
Promote organic cucumbers as a healthy snack. Include them in grilling promotions and winter soup promotions.
Organic versions of both Persian and English cucumbers are available, so consider carrying both. Persian cucumbers are about 5-6 inches long while English cucumbers are generally close to a foot long. English cucumbers are often tightly wrapped in plastic, which helps to alleviate cross-contamination concerns.
Create an organic salad vegetable display with cucumbers holding a primary place. They are popular with consumers, so use that to drive sales of other organic salad vegetables and organic bagged salads.
Remind consumers that they can keep cucumbers fresh after cutting by wrapping the end in plastic wrap before putting it in the refrigerator.
Be sure to keep organic cucumbers and organic zucchini separated as consumers may have a hard time telling them apart.
In The Backroom
Organic cucumbers are most often shipped in bushel cartons. They are also available in a variety of other sizes that can be customized by the supplier. Persian cucumbers are most often shipped in cartons of 8, 1-pound containers.
U.S. Extra 1
U.S. 1 small
U.S. 1 large
Trading usually is done by the specification of the pack, using terms like Super Select, Select, Small Super, Small, Large and Plain. These are not USDA grades but a grading system the industry uses.
Temperature: 45 to 50 F, 7 to 10 C
Relative humidity: 90-95%
Typical shelf life: 10 to 14 days
Ethylene-sensitive. Do not store or transport with commodities that produce ethylene.
Susceptible to chilling injury. Damage sometimes is not apparent until the produce is returned to a higher temperature. Chilling injury can cause water-soaked spots, pitting or tissue collapse. Extensive decay will develop when cucumbers are removed from low temperatures.