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The Case for Winter Produce


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The holiday season has finally come to an end and some retailers might find themselves in an advertising rut. The pumpkin spice craze has died down, holiday-themed products are no longer relevant and (in some retailers’ opinion) it is a little bit too early to stock shelves with heart-shaped Valentine’s Day treats. So how can retailers keep shoppers excited during the gloomy lull of January? I have an idea.

I braved the 20-something degree NYC weather this weekend to stock up on groceries and one of my stops was a little vegetable market that I like to purchase my produce at. I noticed that above seasonal items, like sweet potatoes and cabbage, there were adorable little hand-written signs boasting “winter produce” with hand-drawn snowflakes for emphasis. I’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of sticking to seasonal produce, and was instantly intrigued. I abandoned my well-thought-out meal plan for the week and came up with some new recipes that incorporated the winter-friendly fruits and veggies. I even bought some parsnips, something I have never worked with before, and they are now sitting intimidatingly in my refrigerator.

Marking which produce is in season is an easy way for retailers to catch shoppers’ eyes and get them excited about the produce section, especially in the winter months when most consumers would rather curl up with a bowl of chili than eat a raw salad. Retailers could take this concept even further by offering recipe cards next to the featured seasonal produce. Who wouldn’t get excited about sweet potato tater tots and tangerine muffins?

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