Peas make up a small portion of produce sales, but when marketed well, they can add to your bottom line. Overcoming consumers’ childhood perception of canned peas may be your biggest hurdle to moving fresh peas off the shelves.
- Peas may be small, but they pack a nutritious punch. They are high in vitamin C, which provides infection- and cancer-fighting capabilities. Peas are an excellent source of folate, which helps to prevent neural tube birth defects. They are also a good source of fiber, which aids in digestion, and a source of omega-3 fats, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for green peas: low-fat, saturated fat-free, low sodium, cholesterol-free, an excellent source of fiber, and excellent source of folate and an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Cross-merchandise peas with stir-fry vegetables and sauces, vegetable dip (for sugar snap peas), soup ingredients, butter, Italian seasoning and bagged salads.
- Peas are available year-round. Give them some promotional attention as the calendar pages turn.
- Fall: Add sugar snap peas to veggie trays for football game-day promotions. Promote sugar snap peas as a healthy addition to back-to-school lunches.
- Winter: Promote peas during the holiday season as a tasty green vegetable alternative to green beans for the holiday table. Include snow peas and sugar snap peas in Chinese New Year promotions.
- Spring: Promote peas as a great addition to green salads.
- Summer: Include snow peas and sugar snap peas in summer grilling promotions. They can be grilled and served as a side dish for grilled meats.
- Offer both regular peas and sugar snap peas in your display. Sugar snap peas appeal to parents looking for a healthy snack for themselves and their kids.
- Offer bagged product to avoid a messy display. If you offer bulk peas, keep a close eye on the display to remove damaged or decaying pods quickly.
- Place peas near other salad and cooking vegetables. Peas create a striking color contrast with red or yellow peppers or yellow squash.
- Offer serving and preparation suggestions to get consumers looking at peas in a new light.
- Consider purchasing prepared snap peas to save time on shelling and de-stringing peas before cooking.
- Don’t overcook peas as they will become mushy and flavorless. Add peas at the end of a dish’s cooking time.
- Include peas in stir-fry dishes.
- Steam and season peas to serve as a side dish.
- Add peas to soups and stews to add flavor and texture.
- Peas make a visually interesting addition to salads and salad bars.
In The Backroom
Green 30-lb. bushel baskets/crates/hampers and 11⁄9-bushel crates RPC - 6411, 6413, 6416, 6419, 6420 Snow and sugar snap 10-lb. cartons Value-added 8 8-oz. packages Southern 25-lb. bushel hampers
U.S. No. 1 U.S. fancy There are no federal grade standards for snow or snap peas.
Temperature: green 32 F (0 C); snap, 32 to 34 F (0 to 1 C), snow 33 to 35 F (0.6 to 1.7 C) Relative humidity: green, 85-90%; snap, 95%; snow, 50% Mist: snow and snap, no; green, lightly Typical shelf life: 7 to 10 days Ethylene-sensitive (Do not store or transport ethylene-sensitive items with commodities that produce ethylene.) Moderately sensitive to freezing injury. (Able to recover from one to two light freezings.) The best-quality snow peas are 3 to 3½ inches long and 3⁄4 inches wide. Snap peas should be 21⁄2 to 3 inches long.