Commodity: Organic Lettuce
Organic lettuce is becoming a household staple in many homes. Organic lettuce sales make up 1.5% of total produce sales, and sales of organic lettuce grew by 15% in 2016. As of 2015, organic made up 5% of the category. Average retail price for organic lettuce is about twice that of conventional. Capitalize on the category’s growth by making it an important part of your organic mix.
For more information on variety characteristics, visit our conventional lettuce page.
Lettuce is a great starting point for consumers purchasing organics for the first time. It is a versatile vegetable that is a staple in many homes. That makes it an easy entry point for many.
Create an organic salad promotion that includes other organic vegetables. Add organic salad dressings and bacon to the promotion.
Promote several types of lettuce together by offering a sale where several varieties of organic lettuce are the same price.
Offer several varieties of organic lettuce, including green leaf, red leaf, iceberg and butterhead. Mist unpackaged lettuce. Consider offering packaged lettuce with several varieties in one package.
Make lettuce the centerpiece of an organic salad display. Surround several varieties of organic lettuce with other organic salad items, such as carrots, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.
Organic lettuce can be displayed in its own organic section or next to its conventional counterpart as long as appropriate barriers are in place to keep the two from mixing.
In The Backroom
Organic lettuce is mostly available in 12- or 24-count cartons.
Temperature: 34 to 36 F, 1 to 2 C
Relative humidity: 90-100%
Mist: lightly (do not mist wrapped heads)
Typical shelf life: 14 to 21 days; fresh-cut, 14 days
Ethylene sensitive (Do not store or transport ethylene-sensitive items with commodities that produce ethylene.)
Highly sensitive to freezing injury. (Likely to suffer injury by one light freezing.)
Perforated plastic film wrapped around the heads can help maintain humidity levels. Don’t place lettuce cartons directly in front of the cooler’s fans because that will result in rapid dehydration.
When stacking containers in the back room, make sure to stack organic items at the top so residue from conventional produce doesn’t drip down onto the organic items.
Organic items can be stored side by side in the cooler as long as no product is touching and no residue can drip from the conventional onto the organic product.