Produce Industry Guide to Winter Fruits and Vegetables

As temperatures drop and days get shorter, the produce industry shifts to winter fruits and vegetables. Contrary to the image of scarcity, there’s often an abundance of produce available, and with so many different choices, it's hard to know which produce is good for your business. If you’re a fresh produce business, it’s crucial to equip yourself with this knowledge.

In this guide, we'll detail marketing strategies for winter produce, as well as what produce can be found in abundance during the coldest months of the year. We’ll also go over how Silo can help you leverage seasonal trends.

Marketing strategies for winter produce

Here are a few marketing strategies that you can employ.

1. Target the holiday season

The holiday season increases the demand for certain winter vegetables and fruits. Grower-shippers and wholesalers should focus on produce commonly associated with the Christmas season, taking advantage of this seasonal uptick in demand to maximize sales and profits.

2. Understand your customer

Understanding the demographic of present and future customers is crucial for every business. It's important to tailor your advertising strategy to your ideal clientele. 

For instance, if you advertise in the local newspaper, but discover that the majority of your clients are from other parts of the country, then you may have to consider using a different kind of promotional tactic.

3. Prepare a promotion plan

A thorough strategy for promoting your winter fruit and vegetables should be created before any campaign is launched. Prepare, document, and be specific about the strategy, taking into account the following:

  • Pertinent and basic market information

  • Core objectives

  • Budgeting

  • Strategies expected to be employed

  • Evaluation metrics

Seasonal winter fruits

Here are some fruits that become popular during the winter.

Avocado

Although they’re commonly seen as vegetables, avocados are technically fruit. This fruit has a rough and leathery green exterior with a big seed in the center. The outer skin of the fruit can vary, sometimes being as thick as the skin of an apple, and other times with a texture that’s more grainy and woody.

Regardless, it’s favored by consumers for its buttery flesh and its taste, often characterized as creamy and slightly nutty.

Bananas are the only other food source with as much potassium as avocados. Avocados are high in vitamin B, E, and K content, making them a holy grail among health-conscious consumers. 

They’re loved by customers for their versatility, often used in wraps, salads, and dips. It’s also the main ingredient in guacamole, the core of many sushi rolls, and can be used as a spread on toast with salt and pepper.

It’s said that avocados taste the best during late winter, often in January when they come into season.

Tangerine

Next on our list of winter fruits is tangerines. These vivid orange citrus fruits have thin, papery rinds, and are normally rather tiny in size. 

There’s a common misconception that tangerines and mandarins are the same fruit—however, tangerines are, in fact, a subgroup of mandarins. This means that all tangerines are categorized as a variety of mandarin oranges, but not all mandarin oranges are tangerines.

The two species can be distinguished from one another most easily by the color of their skin. The skin of a mandarin orange has a lighter tint compared to that of a tangerine, which has a deeper, more reddish hue. 

Consumers like tangerines since they’re easy to peel and eat, with the zest of the skin used as a garnish for various dishes and desserts.

Tangerines peak between October to January in seasonality.

Pear

Pears are delicious winter fruits known for their characteristic tapered tops and broader, rounder bottoms. These green, yellow, and brown-skinned fruits are enjoyed by consumers for their juicy white meat.

They’re popular fresh, tinned, as juice, and even dried, often made into jellies and jams in conjunction with other fruits or berries. 55 to 60% of commercial pears sold in the United States are fresh, with the other vast majority of processed pears being canned.

Pears are preferred by consumers for their health benefits, as they possess a good amount of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and phytochemicals. In fact, the FDA states that a 100-gram serving of pear should give you 9% of your daily vitamin C needs.

Although pears are technically considered in season from August to October and are associated with fall, their ability to be paired with warm flavors allows them to flourish in sales even in the winter and makes them perfect for cozy snowfalls.

Seasonal winter vegetables

Here are the vegetables that see increased sales during the winter.

Broccoli

Broccoli plants can reach heights of between 60 and 90 centimeters (24 and 35 inches), growing upright while branching out, their leaves leathery. Thick green clusters of buds grow, and if the buds are not picked, they blossom into yellow flowers and yield silique fruits.

The vegetable itself is bought by customers due to being rich in several nutrients, including vitamins A, B, and C, as well as iron, fiber, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, carotene, and folate. Eating broccoli has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and hypertension.

They’re often steamed and used in soups, making for delicious festive meals. They have a long stretch of seasonality from October through to April.

Carrots

Carrots are winter vegetables that are loved for their firmness and crispy texture, with the smaller varieties being more tender. Their high carotene concentration is indicated by their bright orange color.

Carrots can be consumed in a variety of ways, including raw in salads, cooked and served as side dishes, or added to soups and seasonal stews.

This vegetable is in season from May to December. If carrot plants are not harvested before the winter, they will survive the season and produce huge flower stalks, with several branches flourishing throughout the next growing season.

Beets

Beets are winter vegetables known for their thick, meaty taproot, which come in a wide variety of shapes, ranging from spherical to long and tapering. The color of the skin and the flesh is often a dark, purplish red, though some varieties come in white or orange.

Quality beetroots should not have any blemishes or rough spots, and they should be rather firm. The medium-sized ones are the most tender.

Consumers enjoy beets roasted, or shredded like carrots to use in salads and sandwiches.

While the seasonality of beets lasts until late fall, winter is when baby beets flourish.

Take advantage of seasonal trends with Silo

During the months of winter, it’s imperative that businesses capitalize on their opportunities while they can.

Using Silo, you can view market data and trending produce, sorted by seasonality and environmental conditions, allowing you to purchase ahead of market crests to maximize earnings. Need additional capital to jump on these opportunities? Leverage Silo’s capital offerings to access fast and cost effective working capital, so that you can continue to grow your business.

Book a demo with Silo today to speak with our team and see what you might qualify for!

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