Cooking Vegetables

The cooking vegetable is broad and varied and can be hard to market as a complete category. It most often includes artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet corn, eggplant, garlic, greens, herbs, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peas, bell peppers, chili peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, rutabagas, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes and turnips. This is the category that has benefited the most from the latest low-carb, gluten-free eating trends as many of these vegetables can be used as carb substitutes.



Sales Strategies

  • Many consumers only think about vegetables in terms of side dishes, but cooking vegetables make a tasty addition to many entrees. Offer recipes for stuffed peppers, stuffed potatoes and stir fries.
  • Root vegetables have recently been lauded for their health benefits and their versatility in being a carb replacement. Play on those strengths in signage and sales. You can also cross-merchandise them with soup fixings.
  • Grilling season offers up a fresh opportunity to promote cooking vegetables as many of these veggies go great on the grill. Cross-promote potatoes, peppers, artichokes and onions with grilling utensils, spices and rubs.
  • Samples can help familiarize consumers with lesser-known vegetables.
  • Include cooking vegetables in all of your holiday promotions. Asparagus is a favorite around Easter, and broccoli and green beans are a popular side dish for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Don’t forget pumpkins, sweet potatoes and cranberries for those fall holidays. Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are a great time to promote a mix of vegetables that consumers can grill.
  • Let your consumers hunt for their own great pumpkin in a pumpkin patch them while using pumpkins to boost the sales of other fall vegetables, like squash.
  • During the winter, create a soup vegetable display. Include leeks, celery, potatoes root vegetables and fresh herbs.

Dynamic Displays

  • The cooking vegetable category is best displayed in small groupings of similar vegetables. Potatoes and onions are a natural pairing while broccoli, green beans, asparagus and artichokes often find themselves grouped together as they can be served as a stand-alone side dish. Squash, turnips and rutabagas make an eye-catching display when grouped together.
  • There is some cross-over with salad vegetables, so decide where those cross-over vegetables work best in your store. Tomatoes and peppers may move better when grouped with the salad vegetables.
  • Don’t let your greens get lost in your lettuce display. Give them some space and offer up recipes and cooking tips to get consumers thinking about the many uses of greens.
  • Include garlic in your tomato and herb displays to get it moving along with these popular items.

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