Still, Ross said fresh bulk garlic is the standard.
“The highest percentage of retailers takes that option,” she said.
Provost said he’s seen a pretty even split between a five-bulb packaged product, which is usually an import, and the bulk option.
“The five-pound bag is attractive to get a larger ring at the register, and there’s less merchandising work involved because bulk bins can require clean up with loose skins in the display,” he said.
Schueller said herbs are often hung up in the refrigerated section, usually over the leafy greens.
Basil, however, sometimes stands alone outside the section, often placed near tomatoes.
“It’s merchandised in the summer in a larger package next to the tomatoes, and like that it’s usually priced pretty nice in a larger quantity,” Schueller said.
Placing the garlic outside of the refrigerated section also helps prevent it from getting damp.
“It needs to be out of reach of the misters,” Schueller said.
Camilo Penalosa, vice president of business development for Infinite Herbs & Specialties, Miami, agrees.
“Basil works best next to the tomatoes because it does better there than in refrigeration where it can get burned and turn black,” Penalosa said.
Schueller said very few retailers offer herbs in bulk bunches, choosing packaged varieties instead.
“They can become messy when people don’t know the difference between herbs and they get mixed up. Probably 97% of the time, herbs are sold in packaged clamshells for easy ring-through,” he said.