Commodity: Romaine


Commodity Overview

Romaine has outpaced iceberg lettuce in popularity with consumers. The extra nutrients it offers are popular with more health-conscious consumers. Appeal to those shoppers in your marketing of romaine.


  • Romaine’s health benefits are a big draw for consumers. Romaine contains vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes. The folate found in romaine can help prevent neural tube birth defects. Romaine is a good source of potassium, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure. The vitamin C in romaine can help keep your immune system working well and help prevent cancer.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for romaine: low-fat, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, low in calories, high in vitamin A and a good source of folate.

Sales Strategies

  • Besides being the base for Caesar salad, romaine can also be used as a topping for sandwiches and in other types of salads. Cross-merchandise it with croutons, salad dressing, salad toppings, deli meat and cheese.
  • Romaine is available year-round, so take advantage and promote it throughout the year.
  • Fall: Include romaine in football game-day promotions as a topping for tailgate burgers.
  • Winter: Promote romaine as a base for holiday salads. Encourage consumers to think about adding a Caesar salad to their holiday table.
  • Spring: Create an Ides of March display to play up romaine’s association with Caesar salad. Include it in Cinco de Mayo promotions as an alternative to iceberg lettuce in Mexican dishes.
  • Summer: Promote romaine as an important piece of summer grilling promotions as a topping for grilled hamburgers or chicken sandwiches.
  • Offer a salad promotion that lets consumers choose three salad items for the same price. Include romaine as one of the options.

Dynamic Displays

  • Be aware that there are two types of romaine. Self-closing romaine has leaves that curve inward at the tips to form well-blanched closed heads. Loose closing includes varieties that do not form closed heads, with leaves that appear coarse but are actually tender, sweet and less bitter than other varieties.
  • Romaine can be displayed vertically, which creates an opportunity to draw a shopper’s eye. Stacking romaine heads vertically also helps keep the bottom heads from being crushed.
  • Place romaine near other salad vegetables. Displaying romaine next to carrots or tomatoes creates an eye-catching color contrast.
  • Romaine hearts are popular with consumers who just want the tender leaves near the middle, so include them in your display.

Food Service

  • Use romaine as a topping for sandwiches from chicken to hamburger.
  • Romaine leaves are perfect to use as lettuce wraps for carb-conscious consumers.
  • Offer romaine in a Caesar salad, but also use it as a base for other salads. Consider adding romaine to salad bars.
  • Use a single romaine leaf as an attractive plate garnish.
  • To crisp romaine, plunge the leaves in ice water for a few minutes just before serving.

In The Backroom


40-lb. 2⁄3 cartons/crate, 24-count (West) 40-lb. cartons 28-lb. 1 3-bushel cartons 22-lb. 11⁄9-bushel cartons/crates 22-lb. cartons, 24-count (East) 18-lb. cartons, 12-count RPC – 6425, 6426, 6428, 6432 Foodservice packs 48-count jumbo hearts 48-count petite hearts Chopped Cartons, 4 5-lb. bags Cartons, 4 3-lb. bags 2- and 4-dozen loose 4-dozen loose Consumer packs Romaine hearts 18-bag carton, 2 heads per bag 12-bag carton, 3 heads per bag, 48-count 8-bag carton, 6 heads per bag (club stores) 4 dozen, loose


U.S. No. 1


Temperature: 32 F (0 C) (Romaine will freeze if placed directly on ice or subjected to temperatures below this. If using ice in a display, place it on the sides and not on the product.) Relative humidity: 95% Mist: lightly Typical shelf life: 14 to 21 days Romaine does not maintain top quality when stored for extended periods.


Nutrition Labels

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