Pumpkins are the big mover of the fall season. A great pumpkin display can draw shoppers into your store where you can move other items as well.
- While many people think of pumpkins as a festive fall item, they may not consider the many health benefits they offer. Pumpkins’ high beta carotene content may provide protection against the effects of aging. Beta carotene has also been shown to help reduce the risks of cancer. Pump-kin is a good source of fiber, which aids in digestion, and they contain vitamin A, which is im-portant to keep eyes healthy.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for pumpkins: fat-free, saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free, a good source of fiber, a good source of vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamin A.
- Cross-merchandise pumpkins with other fall holiday fare, including caramels, apples, apple ci-der, pie fixings and popcorn.
- Pumpkins are a seasonal item, so make the most of them from September to December.
- Fall: Start promoting pumpkins in September. Offer recipes and ideas for pumpkin-flavored baked goods. As Halloween draws near, promote large pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns and small pumpkins for decorating. After Halloween, offer specials on pie pumpkins all the way through Christmas as pumpkin pie is a holiday staple.
- Promote pumpkins as both an ornamental item as well as an ingredient. Offer recipes and prepa-ration tips along with decorating ideas.
- Carry a variety of sizes and shapes of pumpkins during the peak season around the fall holi-days. This appeals to consumers looking for pie and decorating pumpkins as well as those search-ing for the perfect jack-o-lantern.
- Make sure you don’t pack pumpkins so tightly that their stems break off. Stems are crucial for jack-o-lantern carvers.
- Create an outdoor pumpkin patch to draw consumers into your store. Use hay bales and corn stalks to create a farm fresh feeling. A pumpkin patch makes pumpkins easier to look at for con-sumers looking for that perfect large pumpkin for carving.
- Include pie pumpkins and gourds on your display as a way to encourage extra sales for those looking to decorate for the holidays.
- Pumpkin-flavored items are popular, so use pumpkins in muffins, pies and breads during the fall.
- Pumpkin adds moisture and can be substituted for oil in some recipes to reduce the fat content.
- Pumpkin seeds are popular among health-conscious customers. Roast the seeds and include them in salads and on salad bars.
- Create a festive flair to the table by hollowing out a small pumpkin and using it as a bowl for soup or salad.
In The Backroom
1,000-lb. bins 50-lb. cartons/crates/sacks 25-lb. bushel cartons/crates 12-lb. each RPC – not available Decorative Bulk bins Semi bins Field bins Eating/pie 11/9-bushel crates/cabbage carts/sacks Mini ½ to 5/8-bushel crates, 40 lb. standard count
U.S. No. 1
Temperature: 50 to 60 F (10 to 15.6 C) Relative humidity: 50-75% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 84 to 160 days Susceptible to chilling injury (Damage sometimes is not apparent until produce is returned to a warmer temperature.) Pumpkins do not store as well as squash. Loss of moisture reduces quality and temperatures about 60 F (15.6 C) make respiration rates too high, resulting in weight loss. Keep pumpkins dry with plenty of air circulation.