Commodity: Tomatoes



  • 3061


  • 4063

    small, 6x6 size and smaller

  • 4064

    large, 5x6 size and larger

  • 4796

    cherry, red

  • 4797

    cherry, yellow

  • 3146

    cherry, on the vine

  • 3147

    cherry, yellow, on the vine

  • 3150

    cocktail/intermediate, red

  • 3335

    cocktail/intermediate, red, on the vine

  • 3336

    cocktail/intermediate, plum/Italian/saladette/roma, on the vine

  • 4798

    greenhouse/hydroponic, small

  • 4799

    greenhouse/hyrdoponic, large

  • 4087

    plum/Italian/saladette/roma, red

  • 3145

    plum/Italian/saladette/roma, yellow

  • 3282

    plum/Italian/saladette/roma, on the vine

  • 4805

    vine-ripe, small (6x6 and smaller)

  • 3151

    vine-ripe, large (5x6 and larger)

  • 4778


  • 3148

    yellow, on the vine

  • 4664

    on the vine

  • 4803


  • 4804

    teardrop/pear, yellow


Commodity Overview

Tomatoes are a year-round staple item in many homes. They account for $3.8 billion in sales, and sales are continuing to grow. Sales grew another 3% in 2018, so give tomatoes some promotional love to add to your bottom line.


  • Tomatoes can help improve your health. Diets containing tomatoes have been shown to improve heart health. Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which can improve the immune system’s ability to fight disease. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which has been shown to fight cancer. Lycopene is found in higher concentrations in cooked tomatoes. Studies show the lycopene in tomatoes may help maintain healthy bones.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for tomatoes: low-fat, saturated fat-free, sodium-free (must state that tomatoes contain less than 5 mg sodium per 85 g tomato), cholesterol-free, low in calories, a good source of vitamin A and high in vitamin C.

Sales Strategies

  • Tomatoes are extremely versatile so pair them up with other products, including salsa ingredients, bacon, lettuce, bread, bagged salad, taco shells and spaghetti sauce ingredients.
  • Tomatoes are available year-round and many households purchase them every week. Promote tomatoes throughout the year.
  • Fall: Include tomatoes in football game-day promotions as they are a popular topping for burgers and in homemade salsa. Offer grape tomatoes as part of back-to-school promotions as they are the perfect size for the lunch box.
  • Winter: Include tomatoes in holiday promotions as part of a salad. Encourage consumers to purchase tomatoes for a hearty wintertime meal of spaghetti with homemade sauce. Promote tomatoes during the Super Bowl as a base for the ever-popular salsa.
  • Spring: Offer tomatoes as part of a springtime salad promotion. Include tomatoes in Cinco de Mayo promotions as no Mexican celebration is complete without salsa.
  • Summer: Promote tomatoes as part of summertime grilling promotions as they are a good topping for burgers and other grilled sandwiches.
  • Offer samples of grape tomatoes to encourage consumers to consider them as a snack.

Dynamic Displays

  • Offer variety in your tomato display. Include beefsteak, roma, grape, cherry and on-the-vine options for consumers.
  • Don’t refrigerate tomatoes and make sure consumers know tomatoes are better when stored at room temperature.
  • Avoid stacking tomatoes to keep the bottom layer from getting crushed.
  • If you stock stem-on tomatoes, be sure they all face the same way to avoid puncturing them with the stems. Leaving the stems on retains the farm-fresh smell of tomatoes.
  • Give tomatoes plenty of room and keep the display well-stocked. Consumers will be looking for tomatoes, so make them easy to find.
  • Place tomatoes next to avocados as the color contrast creates an eye-catching display.

Food Service

  • Peeling tomatoes can be difficult. Make it easier by boiling them for 30 seconds. Let them cool, then peel.
  • To easily remove the seeds from a tomato, cut it in half crosswise, then gently squeeze the tomato in the palm of your hand.
  • Offer tomatoes in salads and on salad bars.
  • Chopped tomatoes are a tasty addition to omelets.
  • Use tomatoes as a base for salsa and marinara sauce.
  • Slice tomatoes and use them to top sandwiches and burgers.

In The Backroom


25-lb. cartons, loose 20-lb. flats/cartons 3-layer lugs 2-layer lugs cherry and grape 12 1-pint baskets green 10-, 20-, and 25-lb. cartons, loose plum or roma 25-lb. cartons loose greenhouse 15-lb. flats, 1-layer 7-kilo flats, 1-layer RPC – 6409, 6411, 6413, 6416, 6419, 6420, 6423, 6425, 6426


fresh tomatoes U.S. No. 1 U.S. combination U.S. No. 2 U.S. No. 3 greenhouse U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2


Temperature: mature-green or pink, 62 to 68 F, 16.7 to 20 C Relative humidity: 85-88% Mist: no Typical shelf life: mature-green 21 to 28 days; pink, 7 to 14 days Do not refrigerate Highly sensitive to freezing injury. (Likely to suffer injury by one light freezing.) Susceptible to chilling injury (Damage sometimes is not apparent until produce is returned to a higher temperature. At temperatures below 55 F, 13 C, tomatoes are subject to chill injury and lose flavor quickly.) Never stack more than two layers high, and keep product stem up to protect tomato shoulders. Because most tomatoes are picked mature but not totally ripe, they will continue ripening in transit. Tomatoes produce ethylene, a hormone that stimulates ripening. If tomatoes have not reached the appropriate color by the time they reach the local distribution center, their ripening process will be speeded up. Ethylene treatment applied at shipping point starts the ripening process and assures more uniformly ripe fruit upon arrival at the destination point and shortens the period between harvest and display, therefore maintaining a higher degree of vitamin C.


Fresh Trends

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Nutrition Labels


1 lb. = about 3 to 4 medium tomatoes 1 lb. = about 1 to 1½ cups pulp

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