There’s still a lot of room for consumption in North America.
That’s the thinking from David Moen of California Endive Farms in
Rio Vista, California around both awareness and consumption of the vegetable endive, a popular item in Europe, but less so in North America. “We are seeing good demand across the board. We’ve grown business percentage-wise at retail and part of that is also foodservice opening back up,” says Moen. “And the other part of it is that it’s also a great product. But even though we’ve been around for 30 years, the penetration generally in the U.S. of endive is really still quite low.”
What consumers or retailers may not even know is endive’s unique growth cycle which requires continual planning every three to four weeks. Endive is in fact grown twice and the second growth is what consumers eat. The first is in the field where roots are developed and then harvested and put into cold storage to be pulled out for future use. The roots take two to three days of defrosting, then three to four days of planting and then another three weeks of growing them to develop the edible shoots.
Promoting awareness of endive
This is the kind of thing Moen will be talking about at California Endive’s booth at the upcoming Organic Produce Summit held July 13-14th in Monterey, California. “We’ll be there to get the word out about endive,” he says, noting in organic endive, it only has white endive. It's available in 2 and 3-count packages as well as 5 lb. and 10 lb. packages.
One thing California Endive will try this year is a new packaging presentation style. The presentation, similar to a bulk food display, has a box with a shield that consumers could lift up to get product out. “Our product reacts to light as photosynthesis causes endive to green up. However, some retailers don’t want the packaged product as they prefer to display them in bulk. The new box will help them display at retail while protecting endive from display lights and misting systems. We will also have our packages at the show that are also designed to help reduce the UV light you’d get at retail. It minimizes the process,” says Moen.
California Endive will exhibit at booth #518.