Carrot Craving

11/01/2011 10:20:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

The carrot category isn’t what it used to be.

Sure, you still can find bunches of carrots with bushy, green tops. But for the most part, the carrot segment today consists of various sized bags of baby carrots, carrot chips, coins and sticks, shredded carrots, organic carrots and even colored carrots.

“The vast majority of all the carrots that are sold are baby carrots,” says Phil Gruszka, vice president of marketing for Grimmway Farms, Bakersfield, Calif.

Manuel Rodriguez, produce manager for Nob Hill Foods, Salinas, Calif., part of the Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley’s Supermarkets chain, agrees.

Baby carrots in packages ranging from a half-ounce to 5 pounds outsell all the other carrot offerings at Nob Hill Foods.

“They’re great for kids’ lunches,” Rodriguez says.

The 1-pound cello bag is the most popular choice.

Full-size carrots are the slowest sellers at Nob Hill Foods, with some customers picking up 5-pound bags primarily to make juice, he says.

The store sells about 50 pounds of bulk carrots a day, and only sells two to four bunches of carrots with green tops each day.

Bagged product is more convenient, Rodriguez says. “You just grab it and go.”    

The store features one pack style or another on ad approximately every other week.

Rodriguez merchandises packaged carrots on a three-shelf refrigerated table, and he displays bulk carrots among salad ingredients, like celery and red leaf and romaine lettuces.

 

Top sellers

Baby carrots also are top sellers at the Landis Supermarket location in Schwenksville, Pa., says Pat Kendig, assistant produce manager – especially around the holidays, when they’re prime ingredients in vegetable trays for parties.

The store also offers a petite carrot as well as regular-size carrots that shoppers often buy as an ingredient for soups in the fall.

The store sells some loose carrots, but store personnel bag most bulk carrots rather than sell them in bunches.

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