Watte Angulo said the commission noticed a recent surge in interest in asparagus recipes, including an asparagus/avocado guacamole for Cinco de May. She suggests displaying recipes alongside the spears at retail.
“Asparagus is extremely versatile in that it fits in with so many different ethnic cuisines,” she said.
She added that consumers are turned off by substandard product, often reluctant to purchase again, so it is incumbent upon the retailer to maintain quality.
“Retailers should stock the highest-quality product available in order to maintain sales. I also think retailers can move more volume by supplying two different sizes of asparagus,” Watte Angulo said. “Consumers like choice and are often looking for a specific size for a particular recipe.”
Great for grilling
“As we approach the summer months, consumers will be buying asparagus to put on the grill,” said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla. “We want people to pick up those large-format (2-pound or larger) bags because asparagus is perfect for grilling.”
“We encourage consumption of asparagus past Easter through the use of various methods. The first one is playing up the grill-ability of asparagus,” said Julia Inestroza, marketing director at Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading Co.
“We also recommend displaying asparagus at eye-level near other gourmet items, such as chanterelle mushrooms, red bell peppers and artichokes,” said Chloe Varennes, marketing manager at Gourmet Trading.
“Additionally, offering nutritional information along with serving suggestions will help consumers know when and how to prepare asparagus.”