Here is a riddle for you:
I’m crisp and green with a crunch so fair.
If you look in the fresh produce department, you will find me there.
I can be discovered in chefs’ kitchens, too—also within children’s lunchboxes, Bloody Marys, even stews.
Available year-round to consumers’ delight, if put on display your sales will spike.
What am I?
If you haven’t already guessed by the title, the answer to our riddle is celery! With a multitude of applications and staple status in many restaurants’ and shoppers’ kitchens, we turned to industry experts to explain why celery is a must-have at retail...
Senior Director of Marketing, Ocean Mist® Farms
“The holidays bring all the cooks to the kitchen—home chefs and pros. Celery is a staple ingredient in savory holiday dishes, absorbing the flavors of a favorite dressing or adding a refreshing crunch to a crudité platter or tossed salad. This key ingredient on holiday shopping lists demands more visibility in the produce department. Cross-merchandise with herbs to maximize affinity purchases and incorporate secondary displays to make the addition of this popular ingredient to shoppers’ carts simple. Ocean Mist® Farms offers both conventional and organic celery stalks and hearts. With our four-hour cut-to-cool policy and top-quality standard, we are poised to satisfy increased demand as we look forward to the holiday pull.”
Senior Director of Marketing and Packaging Procurement, Duda Farm Fresh Foods
“This holiday season is the perfect time to showcase celery’s versatility through fall- and winter-inspired dishes. Whether you’re using it for Thanksgiving stuffing, adding it to homemade soup for an extra crunch, or just enjoying it on its own as a refreshing snack, celery can do it all. Furthermore, Dandy® celery is sweeter, crispier, and less stringy than others on the grocery store shelves, making it the kitchen staple for the entire season.”
Sales Executive and Commodity Manager, Pacific International Marketing
“Celery always adds a special crunch to the holiday season! Our celery sticks are the perfect item to promote throughout this time due to the convenience they provide consumers during what feels like an endless prepping and cooking cycle. Celery sticks provide a quick item to clean for hosts or party attendees to use for recipes such as a stuffed celery appetizer, or minimal prepping for any holiday dish in general. Promote this item with a shelf talker utilizing a QR code directing shoppers to celery-based recipes like cranberry-stuffed celery sticks to maximize purchases.”
Chef and Owner of Ryan Scott 2go Catering and Author of No Fuss Family
“Celery is both unsuspecting and essential. From slowly braised with truffles during the winter to sliced raw with loads of lemon juice and Parmesan cheese in a salad in the summer, celery is the most famous un-famous ingredient on menus everywhere that everyone wants to hang out with. This holiday season, it will be essential to have this item available as more diners and chefs boost versatility and flavor on their plates.”
Senior Produce Buyer, Grocery Outlet
“Celery is near and dear to every true produce person’s heart! From traditional cold-weather soups, roasts, or stars of a classic mirepoix used in the foundation of so many great meals to the juicing trend for folks that want to live a healthier lifestyle—celery is an essential category for everyone to tap into. Traditionally merchandised in the wet rack, it’s now available in many different ways in the grab-and-go sets of every supermarket, either in celery stick packs or in the new snack packs that have become mainstays for consumers. When I need a quick snack, celery sticks and peanut butter can’t be beat.”
Vice President of Fresh, HAC, Inc. dba Homeland Stores, Country Mart, and United Supermarkets
“I’ve always pushed celery because it’s an item you can share with the family and it’s a party item. Celery can be a great snack in between or leading up to the meal, or you can spice up the main dish by adding celery, especially for Thanksgiving. Retailers also love that you can dice celery, making it a great addition to the fresh-cut segment. And, while you might see celery prices higher, in my experience, when you keep it to a certain window—around the 99 cent range—you know consumers will buy. All in all, the key that keeps this category strong is that celery is one of those veggies you know will bring people around the table.”