Supermarkets' Best Weapon Against E-tailers: Produce
Physical stores are sprucing up their fruit and vegetable offerings to drive traffic and keep Amazon at bay.
Walmart Managers make weekly store visits and check the backrooms of produce departments and "crisping" stations have been instituted where workers keep lettuce fresh longer by washing it, cutting off the browned ends and culling any crushed leaves. It is one of several upgrades Walmart is making to its produce areas-improving lighting, training staff to better care for fruits and vegetables, and putting produce in bins that mimic wood grain and aim to give the section the feel of a farmers market.
Grocers are buckling down on the basics of the produce department because high-quality fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods are emerging as a physical store's best defense against growing competition from on-line retailers.
Many customers decide where to shop based on the quality of the produce, and-for now-most shoppers want to pick their own ripe tomatoes or perfectly green heads of lettuce, say grocers and industry researchers. Shoppers who don't buy groceries online most often cite the desire to pick their own produce as the reason, according to an online survey from Morgan Stanley earlier this year.
Online food and beverage sales are growing fast, up 20% since 2013, but still make up a tiny 0.16% of the $670 billion food and beverage market, according to Commerce Department figures. Only 4% of consumers said they purchased some produce through online grocers in the past year, a 2015 Nielsen survey found.
Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Menu with Lemons
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Limoneira spokesperson and founder of Healthy Grocery Girl Megan Roosevelt knows every household is looking for delicious ways to keep things just a bit healthier this holiday season. She has put together a selection of deliciously nutritious dishes for this year's holiday table. After all - no matter what the occasion, there's always room for a little more citrus.
For a demonstration, you can view Megan detail her thankful tips and recipes below.
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
· 8 golden potatoes
· 2 sprigs rosemary
· 1 Limoneira lemon
· 1 tbsp coconut oil
· ½ tsp sea salt
· ¼ tsp black pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash and dry the golden potatoes. With a knife, cut slits into each potato, stopping before reaching the bottom of the potato. Remove rosemary leaves from the stems and finely chop. Next, juice the Limoneira lemon. Add the coconut oil, salt and pepper and stir. Baste the potatoes and lay out in a baking dish. Roast the potatoes for 45 minutes. Baste again with remaining mixture, and roast again for an additional 45 minutes. Total cooking time is 1.5 hours.
Arugula Salad with Wild Rice, Mushrooms and Lemon Vinaigrette
· ½ cup wild rice
· ¾ cup water
· 2 cups mushrooms
· 1 tbsp coconut oil
· 3 cups arugula greens
· 1 Limoneira lemon
· 3 tbsp olive oil
· ¼ tsp sea salt
Directions: Cook wild rice according to package instructions, which is typically ½ cup rice to ¾ cup water. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool in the refrigerator. Slice mushrooms and sauté with one tbsp of coconut oil for 5 to 8 minutes until tender. Add sautéed mushrooms and arugula to the bowl of rice. Add olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and sea salt. Stir together and enjoy.
Sparkling Apple Cider (with Orange twist)
· 1 bottle Fuji Apple flavor Dry sparkling soda
· 2 Limoneira Navel Oranges
· 4 Cinnamon Sticks
Directions: Wash and dry the navel oranges, then peel twists from the skin. Juice the oranges and pour into a small sauce pot with one cinnamon stick. Simmer for 10 minutes, then chill. Pour one tbsp of cinnamon infused orange juice over ice, then top with Fuji Apple Dry sparkling soda. Garnish with an orange twist and cinnamon stick.
Each month, Megan features another wonderful facet of lemon living. Check out Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Limoneira's You Tube Channel for more information on the many ways this endlessly versatile fruit can improve life inside the home and beyond.
SNEAK PEEK December 2016 - Megan will explore the world of Meyer lemons and the ways they can zest up any Noel celebration. She'll also share easy citrus tips for each month throughout 2017.
Meyer Lemons - Perfect for Holiday Recipes
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who think Meyer lemons are God's gift to man and those who have never tried them.
Meyer lemons are a cross between a standard lemon and a mandarin orange. They're distinctly sweeter than standard lemons and they have a totally distinctive fruity-floral aroma that makes them absolutely irresistible. Meyer lemons are smaller and more round than Eurekas or Lisbons and have a thin skin that's deep yellow to orange and dark yellow pulp that's slightly sweet. In fact, some people enjoy adding the raw segments to their salads or desserts.
It has been said that if Cézanne had lived not in France but in Southern California, his Still Lifes would have overflowed with Meyer lemons. Martha Stewart notes that Meyer lemons are prized by chefs and loved by home cooks and has a number of recipes for them.
And...... if you can get your hands on them, they make killer cocktails; their unique, vibrant flavor shines through whatever drink is lucky enough to get them.
The Top 100 Things to Do with Meyer Lemons
1. Make Meyer lemonade.
94. Make maître d'hôtel butter with French butter, minced fresh herbs and finely minced classic (No. 11) preserved Meyer lemons.
100. Observe it and its fellows on the tree above you, as you sit, your back against the trunk, preferably enjoying a picnic.
Peruse the other 97 creative Meyer lemon possibilities
Add A Little Limoneira Lifestyle for The Holidays
Limoneira Lifestyles is a celebration of the best in 124 years of sustainable California agriculture. Our ranch headquarters in the Santa Clara River Valley (affectionately known around here as the Heritage Valley) offers some of the most spectacular scenery and beauty in the world. As one of the largest growers of lemons and avocados in the United States, we have a great deal of experience in sustainable agriculture, and we take pride in treading lightly on the land. Our company principles influence the selection of every Limoneira Lifestyle product we offer - a respect for the past, with an eye towards a sustainable future; an appreciation for the land and all things that make our communities balanced. There are gifts of all price points in our Lifestyles line from larger fully loaded gift baskets to fun stocking stuffers.
Santa Claus Collectible Crate Label Art Gift Box
Fruit Crate Label Art symbolizes the history and heritage of California citrus. Max Schmidt, a native of Germany and founder of Schmidt Lithographers of Los Angeles, developed new crate labels for Limoneira which were patented in 1927. These reflected the company's location Santa Paula. A snowy bearded Santa Claus, carrying a bagful of lemons and Paula, a curly blonde-haired senorita with a lace fan and shawl. We include a copy of the now famous collectible Santa Label paired with a nice selection of succulent Valencia and navel oranges, premium lemons and limes. A unique gift for business associates or friends and family. Gift Contents 8 oranges, 10 lemons, 10 limes, Santa Collectible Crate Label, Christmas ornament The Santa Label is a registered trademark of Limoneira Company. Disclaimer Fruit selection may vary by season, delivery location, and product availability.
Meyer Lemon Hostess Pack
Sweet Meyer Lemons are infusing the recipes of today's leading chefs for a reason. This unique hybrid that originated in China has a soft skin that blushes with an orange hue when fully ripe and is very aromatic. Meyers are perfect for soufflés, lemon tarts or garnishing a Moroccan casserole. Gift Contents 14 Meyer lemons, 7 historic citrus label note cards and envelopes, 3 citrus label magnets, 1 juicer. Disclaimer Fruit size may vary.
Lemon Sugar Candle
Imagine the scent of fresh lemons out in the orchard on a nice spring day. This candle captures that fresh and rejuvenating fragrance and blends it with sweet and subtle hints of vanilla and sugar. Each candle is 4oz and also makes a great decorative piece with its brushed aluminum encasing. Limoneira's citrus candles make an ideal gift for any occasion and bring the aroma of our fresh citrus to your home.
Limoneira Historic Ranch Coffee Mug
Limoneira's picture coffee mug is hit around the office. This unique mug is a solid black until you pour hot or cold liquid into it. Then watch Limoneira's beautiful ranch appear. Enjoy the view as your sipping your warm or cold drink!
Limoneira Frosted Yellow Shot Glass
On cool evenings sitting around the fire with friends, enjoy a shot of your favorite liquid libation, from these classic Limoneira shot glasses.
Jeffrey Lammers from Bowling Green Ohio Wins Limoneira Meyer Lemon Hostess Pack
Jennifer Henberger is a blogger/entrepreneur with a vast network around the United States that she has built over the last 15 years. She lives in North San Diego County with her husband Jason and her 2 cats Murfee and Maggee. She occasionally reaches out to Limoneira to ask if we have something to offer for her network and we are always happy to share one of our Limoneira Lifestyles products. This past month, Jennifer offered Limoneira's Meyer Lemon Hostess Pack to her audience and over 1800 entries were received. The lucky winner was Jeffrey Lammers from Bowling Green Ohio. Congratulations Jeffrey!
Limoneira Lemon Misfits Helps with The Less Food Waste Movement
This holiday season, we can all enjoy the bounty of our region and without incorporating guilt into this festive season, it's important to add balance.
Ugly fruits and vegetables are a fact of life on the farm. Sometimes the dents and scars are so minor that you wouldn't think twice about buying them. They're perfectly edible, delicious and just as nutritious as their unmarred brethren - or perhaps even more so. But their cosmetic challenges (think thorn scarred lemons) have traditionally kept them out of retail stores.
Across the U.S., there's no good documentation of how much produce gets tossed because of cosmetic imperfections, and losses vary from crop to crop, says JoAnne Berkenkamp, a senior advocate for food and agriculture at the Natural Resources Defense Council. But "we've typically found that growers reported cosmetic-related losses ranging up to 20 percent of production in a given year, but it could be higher in years of bad weather.
But efforts to help consumers and U.S. retailers see the inner beauty of gnarly produce have stepped up of late. Giant Eagle announced a small pilot program to sell less-than-perfect produce at a discount in its Pittsburgh-area stores, and Wal-Mart has officially joined the bandwagon. Starting with pilot sales of weather-dented apples at a discount in 300 of its stores in Florida. Wal-Mart has also tested "Spuglies" - a brand of weather-damaged potatoes - in its Texas stores.
Wal-Mart has more than 4,000 U.S. stores. So it has the potential to "completely change the market," says Jordan Figueiredo, founder of the @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign, which uses humor to raise awareness of food waste.
Others beyond the U.S. shores are picking up the imperfect gauntlet. In Europe, Ugly sells in the Produce Aisle. Bon Appetit Management Co., an $800 million food service company owned by Compass Group USA, began a program called Imperfectly Delicious Produce, or IDP. It's designed to buy up some of the uglies out there and use them in meals served in its cafes across the country.
The Less Food Waste Movement experiments that have been taking place with retailers will depend on whether consumers embrace the concept. Ron Clark, a produce broker with a long-term interest in food security and food justice issues, says "The funny thing about ugly produce, is that most of this produce is really beautiful. That's the irony."
Getting more ugly produce at discount into the hands of consumers could transform the image of these "ugly ducklings."
Limoneira Lemon Misfits ™
Grown to be Juicy - Approved by Mother Nature. Limoneira Lemon Misfits were introduced this past year. "These lemons are packed with juice and perfect to increase our grocery retail partner's sales with a customer friendly price point" said John Carter, Director of Global Sales. "They also have a lot of great health benefits."
"The misfit label is a tongue in cheek reference to their having a little scaring from wind in the orchards" continued Carter. "We're playing on this fact by identifying them as orchard outcasts with great personalities. After all, we all know that beauty is only skin deep".
Limoneira Lemon Misfits™ come in a variety of sizes and packaging/pallet configurations. "As the largest vertically integrated lemon provider in the U.S, we have the ability to create programs for our customers more easily than others", said Alex Teague, Limoneira Senior Vice President. "Having our own orchards and packing facilities is a huge plus".
Food Waste Fail? Millennials Aim to Eat by Example
Did you know that 18- to 24-year olds are some of the biggest food wasters around the world? This seems surprising since Millennials are also said to be the biggest foodies. In a way, that makes sense though. You can't taste all the food AND eat all the leftovers, can you? Food waste has to come into the equation somewhere. Spoonled, a Youth Food Movement in Australia, is striking out that mentality and showing Millennials how they can reduce food waste in fun and inventive ways. It's not about guilt, it's about awareness and creativity. Check it out
Reducing Wasted Food at Home
About 95 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities.
According to Feeding America, an estimated 70 billion pounds of food waste in America each year and an estimated 25 - 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed. When food is disposed in a landfill it rots and becomes a significant source of methane - a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW).
Planning, prepping, and storing food can help your household waste less food. Limoneira has a number of planning, preparation and thriftiness tips from the Environmental Protection Agency below:
By simply making a list with weekly meals in mind, you can save money and time and eat healthier food. If you buy no more than what you expect to use, you will be more likely to keep it fresh and use it all.
Keep a running list of meals and their ingredients that your household already enjoys. That way, you can easily choose, shop for and prepare meals.
It is easy to overbuy or forget about fresh fruits and vegetables. Store fruits and vegetables for maximum freshness; they'll taste better and last longer, helping you to eat more of them.
Find out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside your refrigerator.
Prepare perishable foods soon after shopping. It will be easier to whip up meals or snacks later in the week, saving time, effort, and money.
When you get home from the store, take the time to wash, dry, chop, dice, slice, and place your fresh food items in clear storage containers for snacks and easy cooking.
Be mindful of old ingredients and leftovers you need to use up. You'll waste less and may even find a new favorite dish.
Shop in your refrigerator first. Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.
Have produce that's past its prime? It may still be fine for cooking. Think soups, casseroles, stir fries, sauces, baked goods, pancakes or smoothies.
Learn the difference between "sell-by," "use-by," "best-by," and expiration dates.
A complete list is available
Limoneira Winner's Block
This month our lucky winner is Amélie Walker-Yung from New York, New York. As our monthly winner,
has won a Limoneira Orchard Fresh or Lifestlyes Gift.
For your chance to win, make sure you're on our mailing list to be entered into our monthly drawing. To join
or visit our website at
Be sure to check out our other contests and drawings for additional changes to win prizes.