Supplies of lemon plums from Chile will arrive this week for their February window of availability.
“It’s a very unique item but we’ve found it has an interesting cachet with some of our upscale retailers, particularly in the West. It’s caught on,” says Kellee Harris, Western Region Business Director of the Giumarra Companies, Los Angeles, Ca.
In fact, this year, Giumarra has expanded its program in terms of sizing. “We continue to grow the program and this season, we opted to take in more product and of varying sizes,” says Harris. “We have a complete size mix, so we’ll have ample inventory, particularly in the smaller sizes.”
Promotable volume of the plums will come on next week.
How to eat a lemon plum
While the fruit has demand amongst those who know it, part of Giumarra’s challenge is communicating to consumers when to actually eat the fruit. “Sometimes the name is a bit deceptive and people think it’s supposed to taste sour like a lemon. The fruit is green to bright yellow when picked and that’s how it got its name. But it’s meant to ripen to a bright red. It’s got an elongated tip on its non-stem end and it starts to ripen red from the tip down,” says Harris. “It has the sweetest flavor when it’s red and contains very high Brix at that coloration.”
To help educate consumers, Giumarra and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association offer informational point-of-sale materials, along with sampling programs. “We work with retailers to make sure that the educational ripening signage is on their sampling tray, because the fruit is typically sold when it’s yellow or the tip is just starting to turn,” says Harris.
Point of sale material for lemon plums.
Along with retail promotions, which often include Valentine’s Day promotions since when turned upside down, the lemon plum resembles a heart, Giumarra also works with companies such as Harry & David to supply product for its gift basket program.