The majority of consumers are familiar with all of the traditional ways to prepare and enjoy fruits and vegetables. They know how to halve an avocado and remove the pit, peel and section an orange, and trim stems from kale and other greens. But they may not realize all of the opportunities that exist when it comes to getting the most out of their favorite produce—like using the whole fruit or vegetable, from root to stem, seed to stalk.
3 benefits of using the whole fruit or vegetable
Leverage your shoppers’ curiosity and feed them the information they’re hungry for by educating them about all the ways they can use more—or all, in some cases—of the fruits and vegetables they love. The concept is appealing to consumers for many reasons, like:
- It adds value to their purchase, because they’re ultimately getting more bang for their buck.
- It sparks creativity as they think about more ways to use stems, stalks, tops, peels, and other parts of fruits and vegetables they would normally trim and set aside.
- It can play a role in combating the food waste issue that’s gaining traction, because it helps reduce the amount of produce that’s discarded. By discovering more ways to use more of the fruit or vegetable, there is less waste of fresh produce.
Fresh ideas to market produce
To help your shoppers view using the whole fruit or vegetable as an exciting challenge—rather than an obligation—inspire them by posting signs with ideas or hosting demonstrations in your produce department. This kind of fresh produce marketing can even help drive more sales, because your shoppers will feel better about purchasing your fresh produce.
Think about oranges. While consumers may already view them as versatile because they can eat the fruit itself or enjoy them juiced, oranges are ripe with possibility. Here are 12 ideas you can use to help inspire your shoppers to use the entire orange.
Peels: remove and reuse. If your shoppers take the time to peel their oranges, they might as well use them.
- Orange peels and zest can be used with all kinds of recipes—from sweet to savory dishes and in marmalades, infused simple syrups and vinaigrettes, and cocktails.
- Roll a long strip of orange peel into a rose and secure with a toothpick to garnish a cupcake or fruit platter.
- A hollowed-out orange makes a great serving bowl to fill with fruit, dip, or salad.
- In winter months, orange peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves simmered in a saucepan makes a festive stovetop potpourri.
- Orange peels can even be used to make DIY cleaners, like an all-purpose orange and vinegar spray.
Fruit: enjoy the taste of pure sunshine. This isn’t new news: oranges brighten up any meal or snack time. Remind your shoppers of all the ways they can enjoy them and all the reasons they love them.
- They’re perfectly portable, full of vitamin C and other nutrients, and taste great on their own.
- Oranges add a great tangy-sweet flavor to green and citrus salads, entrées like poached salmon and sweet and sour chicken, and baked and frozen desserts.
- Garnish all kinds of beverages with a slice or wedge of orange.
Juice: Squeeze the day. One of the best things about fresh-squeezed orange juice is that you know exactly what’s in it: 100% orange juice. Another perk: adding a splash of it to recipes and other beverage is an easy way to add an unbeatable degree of freshness.
- Add fresh squeezed orange juice to wheat beer for a homemade shandy, or mix with champagne for a weekend mimosa.
- Whisk orange juice with confectioners’ sugar for a citrusy-fresh glaze for cakes, donuts, or cookies.
- Freeze orange juice in ice cube trays for later use—add to hot or iced tea, sangria, or smoothies.
- Replace all but one tablespoon of oil with orange juice in a favorite salad dressing recipe for a punched-up version.
From pickling watermelon rind to shaving broccoli stems to use in veggie burgers, there are all kinds of interesting, delicious ways to cook with the whole fruit or vegetable. The ways you merchandise fresh produce can spark creative cooking with your shoppers, which can lead to more produce sales. I’m excited to keep testing and discovering new ways to use more of my favorite fruits and veggies in my own kitchen—it’s something I think about every time I’m in the produce aisle.