Handling Fresh Figs
It is important to handle Fresh Figs carefully. They are fragile and bruise easily. Select plump, fragrant figs that have a little give when touched. Figs can be ripened on the counter at room temperature. Use ripe figs as soon as possible or store in refrigerator for up to 3 days. To prevent bruising, arrange figs in a single layer on paper towels or liners.
Simple Ways to Use Fresh Figs
The very best way to eat Fresh Figs is out of hand, skin and all. Serve them wrapped in prosciutto or stuffed with mascarpone as a first course. Combine with other fruits in compotes and salads. They are delicious poached or stewed. Fresh Figs can be frozen. Just wash and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray. Then, pack into self-closing plastic bags and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Facts About Fresh Figs from California
We expect every year to be an excellent year for Fresh Figs from California with high quality product, good yields, and continued demand across all business segments.
California produces 98% of the nation’s fresh figs and 100% of the dried ones.
The season for Fresh Figs from California runs from mid-May through mid-January thanks to new plantings in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys of California.
There are four main varieties of Fresh California Figs. They are Black Missions, Calimyrna, Kadotas and Brown Turkeys.
Some of these and several other new varieties are available throughout the fresh fig season. Dried Black Missions, Calimyrna and Kadotas are available all year.
Increased plantings throughout the State of California assure a consistent flow of California Fresh Figs into the marketplace from mid-May to the following January, and a supply of dried figs throughout the whole year.
California Fresh Fig Growers work with buyers and retailers to help promote the consumer benefits of Fresh Figs and have joined together with the California Fig Advisory Board (CFAB) for assistance in that endeavor. Both of these organizations can assist buyers and retailers with expanding their promotional efforts and finding new ways to reach and serve their Fresh Fig customers.
The California Fresh Fig Growers Association and the California Fig Advisory Board are dedicated to letting consumers know about this tasty fruit. Fresh Figs appeal to many traditional and ethnic groups and to young adventurous customers, too. With multiple varieties available throughout the season, retailers can showcase Fresh Figs more often and are finding added value by placing them in their ads.
California Fresh Fig Growers Association (CFFGA)
- Sponsors ads in newspapers and magazines
- Participates in television appearances and promotions
- Continues major national networking at tradeshows
- Develops promotional materials and recipes for distribution
- Informs retailers and consumers about the health benefits and nutrition in Fresh Figs from California
- Provides information about handling, in-store positioning, and ad placement
- Communicates with shippers, wholesalers and marketers about Fresh Figs
- Works constantly to improve cultural, packaging and shipping practices to meet retailer and consumer needs
- Ensures that a quality product reaches the consumer
- Provides programs that work well for retailers and builds lasting relationships
- Maintains Web sites at www.californiafreshfigs.com and www.californiafigs.com
Retailers Frequently Ask These Questions
What are the latest sales trends in the Fresh Fig category?
Fresh Figs from California have become the darlings of fresh fruit departments.
Sales have grown 30% each year for the past five years.
Fresh Figs appeal to traditional ethnic groups and now, to the young adventurous customer, too.
With multiple varieties available throughout the season, retailers can showcase fresh figs more often and are finding added value by placing figs in their ads.
How does the current economy affect sales?
The largest markets for Fresh Figs are on the East and West Coasts and, as expected, this affects transportation costs.
Last year, a $4,500 truck would get the fruit to market; this year the same truck could cost as much as $8,000.
To say nothing about the cost of fuel on the farm as well as on the road.
What is done to ensure that Fresh Figs are safe and to assure consumer confidence?
Fresh Figs are packed and shipped under rigorous USDA inspections to insure, not only the quality of the product, but its cleanliness and safety.
Do consumers know enough about Fresh Figs and what they can be used for?
There is much to be done before most consumers will know enough about Fresh Figs and how they can be used. However, California Fresh Fig Growers are dedicated to letting consumers know about this tasty fruit.
What should consumers (and handlers, too) know about Fresh Figs?
It is important to handle fresh figs carefully. They are fragile and bruise easily.
Select plump, fragrant figs that have a little give when touched.
Figs can be ripened on the counter at room temperature. Use ripe figs as soon as possible or store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To prevent bruising, arrange figs in a single layer on paper towels or on paper liners.
Fresh Figs can be frozen. Just clean and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then, pack into self-closing plastic bags for up to 6 months.
The very best way to eat fresh figs is out of hand, skin and all.
Serve wrapped in prosciutto or stuffed with mascarpone as a first course or combined with other fruits in compotes and salads or poached or stewed.
How does the California Fresh Fig Growers Association (CFFGA) help to inform consumers about Fresh Figs?
With ads in newspapers and other magazines, television appearances and promotions, recipe development, networking, tradeshow participation and promotional materials.
Web sites at www.californiafreshfigs.com and www.californiafigs.com.
By taking advantage of every opportunity to let retailers and consumers know about the unique versatility and nutrition in Fresh Figs from California.
How does CFFGA help retailers build sales?
- Provides POS materials and information about practices to extended the shelf life of Fresh Figs, in-store positioning and ad placement.
- Communicates with shippers, wholesalers and marketers about the uniqueness of Fresh Figs.
- Works constantly to improve cultural, packaging and shipping practices to meet retailer and consumer needs.
- Builds relationships with retailers to ensure a quality product and provide programs that work well for them.
What are some ways retailers can make Fresh Figs work in their stores?
- Work with CFFGA and buyers to make their needs known.
- Let CFFGA know when and how we can help them with marketing, shipping, POS materials, etc.
- Work with CFFGA to provide the best positioning, advertising, promotion, packaging and any other areas needed to insure consumer and buyer confidence in Fresh Figs.
- Work with CFFGA to identify shipping packs that are available and look for ways to customize packs for particular needs.
- Hold in-store tastings with quick easy recipes to expose consumers to Fresh Figs.
Getting More from Figs
Work with CFFGA and buyers to make their needs known. Let CFFGA know when and how they need help with marketing, shipping, POS materials, etc. Provide the best positioning, advertising, promotion, packaging to insure consumer and buyer confidence in Fresh Figs. Identify available shipping packs and ways to customize those for particular needs.
Hold in-store samplings and distribute quick easy recipes to encourage consumers to use Fresh Figs.