Rutabagas have a small following, but they create the appearance of a well-stocked produce department. They also attract a consumer base that while small is interested in unusual items.
- Rutabagas may not be well-known, but they contain many health benefits. They contain potassium, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure. The vitamin A in rutabaga helps keep eyes and skin healthy. Rutabaga contains niacin, which protects against cardiovascular disease. Zinc is found in rutabaga. Zinc is important for regulating your immune system and metabolism.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for rutabagas: fat-free, saturated fat-free, very low-sodium, cholesterol-free, low in calories and high in vitamin A.
- Cross-merchandise rutabagas with soup stock and broth, soup vegetables, salad vegetables and bagged salads.
- Rutabaga is available year-round so include it in promotions throughout the year.
- Fall: Rutabaga sticks served with dip are a healthy, tasty treat that can be a perfect match for back-to-school promotions.
- Winter: Include rutabaga in winter soup promotions as that is how it is most commonly used.
- Spring: Promote rutabaga to health-conscious consumers as a replacement for starchy potatoes.
- Summer: Include rutabaga in summertime promotions as an alternative to french fries to go with those summer burgers.
- Extend rutabagas’ shelf life by displaying them on refrigerated tables and in refrigerated cases.
- Place rutabagas near other cooking vegetables, especially those used in soup.
- Use rutabagas purple color to draw the eye and create a color break in your cooking vegetables section.
- Most consumers are unfamiliar with rutabagas. Include preparation tips and recipes on your display. Consider posting signs telling consumers about the flavor of rutabagas and how they are used.
- Peel rutabagas before cooking them.
- Substitute rutabagas in recipes that call for turnips. Keep in mind that rutabagas are sweeter and have a lower water content.
- Add rutabaga to soups and stews. Rutabaga’s sweet flavor is a good companion for potatoes, apples and carrots.
- Offer rutabaga sticks as part of an appetizer dipping tray.
- Fried rutabaga can be a substitute for french fries for customers following a paleo diet.
In The Backroom
50-lb. bushel cartons/bags 25-lb. 1⁄2-bushel cartons, bags RPC – Not available
U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2
Temperature: 32 F (0 C) Relative humidity: 95-100% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 120 to 180 days Somewhat sensitive to freezing injury (Can be lightly frozen several times without sustaining serious damage.) Store unwrapped in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation. Size is not a quality factor, although lightweight rutabagas may be woody. Rutabagas are generally dipped in an edible vegetable wax to help them keep better.