Cauliflower season is upon us!

From the end of May, the LAVA auctions will be selling a handsome Belgian early spring product in the form of Flandria summer cauliflower. The trade can rely on substantial supplies in June. Ring the changes in your greengrocery display with some decorative Coliflor Green, Purple and Romanesco.

Plentiful supplies from the end of May, with a peak in June
Flandria outdoor-grown summer cauliflower depends heavily on the weather conditions. Cold nights and a late spring this year have reduced the yield, meaning that the season this month has been a bit slow to get going. The LAVA auctions are still expecting ample supplies from week 22, after which the volume traditionally picks up. June promises to be a top month, with weeks 23-26 delivering a peak of between 350,000 and 500,000 heads/week.

An eye-catcher in the greengrocery department
Belgian retailers and specialist shops want to accommodate their customers' preferences, and so they offer Flandria cauliflowers. These are characterised by an even white or pale cream colour and premium quality (freshness and firmness), plus they are sustainably grown with guaranteed traceability. In other words: a wonderful home-grown product!
Make Flandria summer cauliflower into an eye-catching centrepiece. Present the handsome closed heads in a prominent spot in the greengrocery department: they are so crunchy-fresh that they will just walk off the shelves. Team them with lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, asparagus and so on for a good colour contrast. Be sure to put enough product on display, and top up regularly, to encourage customers to buy. Never stack the crates, because the surface of the cauliflower is very sensitive to damage.

Grading
Cauliflower is graded by size and weight. Flandria+ guarantees a minimum weight of 9 kg/crate. When it comes to outdoor cauliflower, the grade is +24 to +27 head diameter. The main grade of +27 is supplied as standard in packs of 6 in EPS-H. a more compact cauliflower (24 cm diameter) in packs of 6 in EPS-H is sold in parallel with the standard product. As a non-standard option, there are limited supplies of small cauliflowers sold in packs of 8 in EPS-Medium.

The clock, pre-sale and intermediation
Sales may be made both on the clock and by pre-sale. In the latter case, this is a product that has yet to be harvested, so it is 'super-fresh'! The advantages for the buyers are that they are buying products at an agreed price and they can request the packaging they want. The products are delivered two days later. Another option is the LAVA intermediation, whereby the price, quantity and packaging required are contractually agreed.

Tips for the shopkeeper
Keep cauliflower during the day on an uncooled shelf in the shop, and at night in a cool, well-ventilated place. The optimum temperature is 2-3 °C and R.H. of 90-95%. Plunge into ice-cold water to refresh them. The surface is very sensitive to damage. Try to avoid rough handling. Advise clients to store the vegetable in a damp cloth in the salad drawer in the fridge. The Flandria growers guarantee one week under optimum storage conditions.

Surprising alternatives
Flandria Specialty Street offers three surprising alternatives: Coliflor Green and Coliflor Purple have the same shape as the traditional white Flandria cauliflower but the curds are green and purple respectively. Coliflor Romanesco stands out not just because of its striking, yellowy-green flower head, but also its unusual structure; Romanesco's common local name is 'turret cauliflower'. It tastes like cauliflower, but a little sweeter. All these specialties are grown in line with the Flandria specifications. They are supplied in packs of 6 in EPS-H. other packaging options are available on request.
These specialties are good ways to add value to the traditional Belgian cauliflower. They stand out on the greengrocery shelves thanks to their unusual colour and shape, offering an extra selling point for the shopkeeper. If you are looking for something special, these niche products are the answer. They challenge the consumer to move beyond the (old-fashioned) image of cauliflower thanks to new preparation methods. This will boost your sales. They are also a unique product for the consumer: highly decorative and with an unusual shape that makes them perfect for a festive occasion.

A refined superfood
Flandria summer cauliflower is a versatile vegetable. Even just lightly steamed, it makes a brilliant addition to the table. You can serve cauliflower with fish or meat or as a veggie option, or it is also really good in molecular cookery or food pairing. It can be served cold in a summer salad and with a dipping sauce as a canapé or on the barbecue; there really is nothing to beat the taste of this early vegetable.
Make customers aware, too, of the health aspects of this wonderful product! At 80 mg per 100 g, cauliflower is very rich in vitamin C. Potassium is also present in good levels: 250 mg per 100 g. Like most vegetables, cauliflower is low in calories, but high in fibre.

Belgian products remain available into the autumn
With promotional deals, you can offer customers the chance to enjoy their favourite product for a long period, and this will all help your sales. The summer months are when supplies are at their highest. The season runs until September, and large supplies are still expected into October.

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