“The ones we’re probably going to struggle with, though I can’t predict the weather, are the Chinese eggplants and Chinese long beans. Sometimes in February we run into issues with lemon grass, but that’s fine now. We’re able to fall back onto Mexico supply of leafy greens if California is not supplying at the rate we’d like.”
Courtesy Melissa's/World Variety ProduceA shelf strip is part of Melissa's retail marketing effort for Chinese New Year. Melissa’s provided Chinese New Year shelf strips, danglers and recipe pads to about 650 clients signed up for their Everyday Asian promotion, Schueller said. Store ads were to start immediately after Jan. 1 and run up to Jan. 23.
Tom Tjerandsen, managing director for the San Francisco-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said Chinese New Year is taking a bite out of cherries from Chile.
“China actually grows some very fine cherries, and they’re a good market for the domestic cherry harvest in California and are becoming a good market for the Chilean cherry. There aren’t a lot of fresh fruit options to retailers in early January. Red is a popular color in Asia. In U.S. cities with large Asian populations, we’re seeing cherries included in holiday promotions.”
There are more than 100 fruits and vegetables on the U.S. market associated with the Asian holiday.
They include blood oranges; pummelos; oro blanco; Buddha’s hand, also known as fingered citron; kumquats; fresh water chestnuts; young coconuts; edamame; and many others.
Asian shoppers consume twice as much produce as the average American, according to Melissa’s Everyday Asian promotion materials.
In the U.S., marketers are targeting mainstream consumers as well as Asian Americans, touting culinary diversity with the former.
Jade offers fortune, coupon
For the Chinese New Year, the Jade label will include a fortune and coupon on its packaged, prewashed line of fresh Asian vegetables.
Chinese New Year, the year of the dragon, is Jan. 23. But the fortunes and coupons have already begun shipping and extend through Jan. 31, according to a news release.
Consumers can peel off a red sticker to reveal various fortunes plus one of three coupons: – 55 cents off, $1 off, or buy one, get one free.
Jade greens are grown by Nishimori Family Farms in Southern California year-round and distributed by San Miguel Produce, Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
Jade greens include baby bok choy, baby Shanghai bok choy, gai choy, yu choy, gai lan and dau miu.