Greens: Super Sellers

03/01/2013 03:41:00 PM
Susie Cable

San Miguel promotes its new salads’ nutritional benefits, including the high ratio of nutrients to calories, and their possible links to cancer prevention, cardiovascular health and eye health.

The company also offers ready-to-use cooking greens including rainbow kale, collard greens, curly mustard greens and spinach.

 

Watercress: “The Super Leaf”

B&W Quality Growers Inc., Fellsmere, Fla., markets watercress as the “super leaf” and as “Mother Nature’s true superfood.” The company operates a website dedicated to the product, www.watercress.com, where it promotes watercress as a good source of vitamins A, C and K.

“Watercress is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables there is,” says Andy Brown, vice president of marketing.

Watercress, like arugula, collard greens and kale, is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables contain vitamins C, E and K, as well as carotenoids, folate and minerals.

Brown says U.S. consumers are becoming more aware of watercress. In the winter, B&W exports large quantities to Europe, where it is commonly used in blended salads, Brown says.

“(In Europe,) it’s as common as spinach is here,” he says.

Brown says U.S. retailers often display watercress in the salad ingredients section of the produce department. Watercress stands out there with fresh herbs and other high-flavored items, he says.

B&W’s watercress is available in 4-ounce cello packs for retail. A pack typically retails for $2.50 to $3, Brown says. B&W also markets 4-ounce cello packs of wild baby arugula, and it ships a proprietary variety of red watercress to some upscale markets in New York City and Chicago, he says.

B&W is finding new ways to get consumers to try watercress, Brown says. It works with retailer customers to present in-store sampling and menu promotions, which lead to significant bumps in sales, he says. B&W worked with Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets Inc.  to get watercress on shopping lists by including it in the chain’s Aprons Simple Meals Recipes program,  Brown says. Consumers can search the Aprons recipe database for “watercress” and find the vegetable mentioned dozens of times.

Brown describes green watercress’s flavor as peppery, with less bite and after-taste than arugula. He says selling watercress and arugula is as simple as getting consumers to buy it that first time.


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