Commodity: Squash, Summer

Contents:

PLUs:

  • 3140

    cucuzza

  • 4773

    patty pan/summer

  • 4774

    red kuri

  • 4775

    scallopini

  • 4782

    yellow, straightneck

  • 4784

    yellow, crookneck

  • 4086

    yellow zucchini/gold bar

  • 4067

    zucchini

  • 3418

    zucchini, round

Squash

Commodity Overview

Squash sales continue to grow, which means it’s a commodity worth giving some attention. Capitalize on its growing popularity by offering different varieties and introducing it to consumers who may be unfamiliar with the many types of squash available.

Facts

  • Squash offers a variety of health benefits. Summer squash is high in vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and fight cancer. Many winter squashes are a good source of vitamin A, which helps protect eyes and skin. Butternut squash contains potassium, which is important for keeping bones healthy.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for summer squash: fat-free, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, low in calories, and high in vitamin C. Descriptors approved for spaghetti squash are: low-fat, saturated fat-free, very low sodium, cholesterol free and low in sodium. Descriptors approved for crookneck squash are: fat-free, saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and low in calories.

Sales Strategies

  • Squash’s many uses make it a perfect cross-merchandising partner, so promote it with soup stock, stir-fry vegetables and spaghetti sauce for spaghetti squash, grilling seasonings and flour and seasonings for fried squash.
  • Some type of squash is available year-round, so keep an eye on the calendar and offer promotion throughout the year.
  • Spring: Promote spaghetti squash to health-conscious consumers as a replacement for carb-laden noodles.
  • Summer: Zucchini and yellow squash are symbols of summer. Promote them during summertime grilling promotions.
  • Offer samples of different varieties of squash to familiarize consumers with the many flavors available to them.

Dynamic Displays

  • Offer multiple varieties of squash to your consumers. Clearly label each variety and offer some information on the taste and uses of each type of squash.
  • Avoid stacking squash more than four layers deep to keep from crushing the squash on the bottom layer. Be careful when stacking to create a display that won’t tumble onto the floor when consumers remove squash.
  • Use squash’s multiple colors to create a color break among other cooking vegetables.
  • Display zucchini and yellow squash with other vegetables popular in the summertime as they are often associated with summer.

Food Service

  • Yellow squash has a high water content. Before using it in a cooked dish, blanch the whole squash or add salt to shredded, sliced or julienne squash.
  • Create a cold squash soup to offer during the summer.
  • Yellow squash can be a substitute for eggplant or carrots.
  • Steam zucchini and yellow squash and serve as a colorful side dish.

In The Backroom

Shipping

summer squash 42-lb. bushel and 11⁄9-bushel containers 35-lb. cartons/crates 30-lb. 3⁄4-bushel cartons/crates 26-lb. cartons/lugs (California, Mexico) 21-lb. 1⁄2- or 5⁄9- containers 10-lb. 8-quart baskets/cartons

Grades

summer squash U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2

Handling

*Temperature: soft, 41 to 50 F, 5 to 10 C; *Relative humidity: soft, 95%; *Mist: summer, lightly; *Typical shelf life: soft, 7 to 14 days; *Ethylene-sensitive (Do not store or transport ethylene-sensitive items with commodities that produce ethylene.) *Soft squash is highly sensitive to freezing injury. (Likely to suffer injury by one light freezing.) *Susceptible to chilling injury (Damage sometimes is not apparent until the produce is returned to a higher temperature.) *Summer squash can be held at 32 to 40 F, 0 to 4.4 C for periods of less than four days. Use immediately after removing from refrigeration. *Scallopini squash is more perishable. Refrigerate and use promptly. *Summer squash that has been frozen will turn to mush due to high water content.

Availability

Fresh Trends

Download Full Fresh Trends Report
squash_fresh-trends (416.61 KB)

Nutrition Labels

Equivalents

1⁄3-1⁄2 lb. winter squash = about 1 serving 2-lb. peeled, trimmed squash = about 4 cups cooked or 4 servings 1-lb. summer squash = about 4 cups grated 1-lb. summer squash = about 2 cups salted and squeezed 1-lb. summer squash = about 31⁄2 cups sliced or chunked 1-lb. summer squash = about 11⁄4 cups mashed 1-lb. summer squash = about 3 to 4 servings

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