Educating Consumers About Exotic Vegetables and Fruit

In recent years, consumers have been seeking new ways to diversify their healthy eating habits, and exotic produce is among one of them. The market for exotic fruits and vegetables is definitely strong, and the prospects look even stronger going forward.

In this article, we’ll go over what you need to know about exotic vegetables and fruits, ways produce businesses can educate their customers about these products, and how Silo can help you better manage your business and navigate the expense of breaking into new exotic vegetable and fruit commodities.

What is exotic produce?

Produce that’s exotic refers to fruits and vegetables that are not typically found in the average grocery store. These items may be native to other countries or regions, or they may be rare or difficult to grow locally. 

While produce that’s considered exotic can be expensive and hard to find, they’re sought out by customers for their uniqueness and to add an exciting dimension to their diets. Exotic fruits and vegetables often have bright colors and unusual shapes, and they can provide a wide range of flavors and textures. 

The most popular foreign produce in the U.S. are, among many others:

  • Dragon fruit

  • Guava

  • Kumquat

  • Kohlrabi

  • Thai basil

  • Napa cabbage

  • Coriander

Exotic produce may not be as well known as regular fruits and vegetables, but retailers are recognizing its worth as customers are increasingly preferring them.

3 effective ways to educate consumers about exotic vegetables and fruits

Education continues to remain crucial for promoting produce. Here are some ways to educate customers on its benefits and where they can find them.

1. Use social media

Social media can be an incredibly useful tool in the modern day for a business’ success. You can use social media to post about your produce, with posts centering around things like how exotic produce items can be cut or washed.

You can also create recipes and turn them into reels/shorts to gain a broader outreach and attract more customers to your business.

2. Share samples

Customers value being able to taste a product before buying it. The mystique around rare produce can intrigue potential buyers, but they may be hesitant to purchase it in the worry that they’ll be wasting their money.

Samples allow customers to get an inside look into what they’ll be buying. Numerous produce businesses have seen the benefits of providing samples. 

This especially gives offline retailers a competitive edge, as although shoppers can buy specialty and exotic fruit online, they’re not able to sample it to get a good idea of its flavor and texture.

3. Use packaging to educate

Consumers are more likely to try an item if they possess some pre-existing knowledge about it.

You can convey information about rare vegetables and fruits on packaging to engage customers and get them to buy it, whether it’s having advertising copy that describes the taste or texture of your product, or having recipes written on the side to show them how to use your item.

What are some popular exotic fruits and vegetables?

Here are some popular exotic produce items commonly purchased.

Dragon fruit

Dragon fruit originates from Central and South America and belongs to the cactus family. Despite its spiky pink skin that may lead customers to believe that it possesses a strong flavor, the interior is a seeded white and is relatively mild in terms of its flavor. 

This fruit has few calories, but is rich in calcium, fiber, and vitamin C, making it particularly nutritious. The season for dragon fruit runs from June through September. This exotic fruit is used by customers in smoothies, salads, and snacks.

Lychee

In recent years, lychee has become less of a rare produce, but is still considered exotic all the same. This delectable fruit has made its way from Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants into grocery stores.

Fresh lychees are sold throughout the spring and summer, though canned lychees are accessible all year. This fruit is rich in potassium, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C, as well as polyphenols that help the human metabolism move quicker.

Romanesco broccoli

Romanesco broccoli are exotic vegetables sourced from Central Italy. They come in dense clusters of cone-shaped heads that resemble cactus-like growths. The flavor of this vegetable is described as nuttier, but milder than normal broccoli.

Romanesco contains zinc, carotenoids, iron, vitamin C, and folate, all of which are extremely beneficial to the reproductive system. Additionally, this flowering vegetable has glucosinolates and thiocyanates, which support the liver's defenses against potentially harmful compounds.

Ginger

Ginger originates from Southeast Asia and is most commonly used as a cooking ingredient or in beverages. 

Some people also use ginger for its therapeutic effects, with ginger helping to ease nausea and vomiting, as well as improve digestion. 

Ginger root contains antioxidants and other elements that help with conditions like arthritis, inflammation, and different infections. Additionally, ginger may lower the chance of developing diabetes, cancer, and other illnesses.

Silo streamlines your business operations

Exotic vegetables and fruits are a great way to attract customers. If you’re looking to take your produce business to the next level, consider leveraging technological solutions like Silo to get the most profit out of these commodities. 

Silo’s software is built to help produce businesses take control of their inventory and cash flow. Through their intuitive platform you’re able to purchase, sell, and manage your inventory in a manner that reduces waste and optimizes profits. 

Access working capital directly into through the Silo platform to ramp up cash flow in an effort to execute on market opportunities or break into new exotic vegetables and fruit commodities. You can leverage business and market data to guide the best possible pricing and automate your AR to keep you focused on growing your business. 

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