California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Utilizes Website and Experiencing Greens Guide to Uplift Leafy Greens Category; Tim York and Jessica Foust Comment
SALINAS, CA - Thinking outside the box calls to mind a variety of synonyms, but my personal favorite is innovation. With the help of California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA), the leafy greens category is leading its own innovative charge. In May of this year, LGMA created a sensory chart for Iceberg, Romaine, spinach, kale, and green cabbage. Designed to help consumers, foodservice operators, and retailers think outside the box—especially if an item they’re looking for isn’t available.
“LGMA members produce an incredible variety of safe, healthy lettuces and leafy greens. This new Experiencing Leafy Greens section helps us share this fact with our audience of registered dietitians (RD) and food communicators,” commented Tim York, Chief Executive Officer. “The LGMA relies on RDs and food bloggers to help share information on the health and safety of lettuce and leafy greens. With this new section, we can also offer them a unique picture of the flavors, textures, and colors available in our products.”
The tool can be found at www.lettuceinfo.org, a website that was created by a group of farmers, registered dietitians, chefs, and food safety experts.
The Experiencing Greens guide breaks down everything from color to flavor and texture.
“California lettuce farmers harvest and ship about 130 million servings of lettuce and leafy greens every day,” remarked Chef and Registered Dietitian Jessica Foust, who created the Experiencing Greens guide. “Lettuce farmers produce a huge variety of everything from mild-flavored Iceberg lettuce to tender spinach, spicy arugula, and chewy kale. People often get stuck in a rut with their choices when it comes to lettuce. And these days, weather problems or supply chain issues can sometimes mean our favorite lettuce variety isn’t always in stock or on the menu. We don’t want people to skip their favorite lettuce because it’s not available or is too expensive. So, we created this guide to help people find alternative lettuces that are similar to what they already know they like. But also, to encourage exploration of different varieties.”
One tip I learned is that a blend of Iceberg and spinach can mimic the texture of Romaine—a tip I know shoppers will appreciate seeing.
“When one of our varieties is in limited supply due to weather conditions or other events, this new information on LettuceInfo.org can help direct people to try other varieties they might not normally purchase,” Tim noted, echoing Jessica’s sentiments.
The Experiencing Greens guide offers a description of each of the five sensory characteristics and uses a scale to rank where the different leafy greens varieties fall on the spectrum. It also offers pro tips for getting the most out of your lettuces, including how to store them properly. In addition, the website offers a host of information on how leafy greens are farmed in California and what is being done on leafy greens farms to ensure these products are safe.
For ways in which our industry continues to think outside the box, keep reading us here at AndNowUKnow.