Commodity: Squash, Summer
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
summer squash U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2
*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.
- 26% of consumers said they purchased squash in the past year.
- The likelihood of a squash purchase increases as income rises.
- Consumers in the Midwest live in the region least likely to purchase squash.
squash_fresh-trends (416.61 KB)
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