6 Ways to Better Market & Sell Kohlrabi

Many customers like to look at kohlrabi, an odd little alien-looking vegetable. Here's how to persuade them to take it home.

by Jesse Frost
PHOTO: Jeremy Keith/Flickr

Kohlrabi is a fun vegetable to grow, but it can be difficult to sell. Customers at market might love to pick up and inquire about this little alien-looking crop, but they don’t always want to take it home.

There are ways, however, if you enjoy growing kohlrabi or have too much of it, to sell this bulbous brassica. Whether via different marketing streams, a pre-paid vegetable share or being creative at market, you can make kohlrabi a poplar crop if you know how to sell it. Here are six ways to better market kohlrabi.

1. Chefs

If you would like to grow kohlrabi, it is a good idea to speak with some chefs to see 1) whether they’re interested in purchasing a consistent quantity throughout the year, and 2) whether they have a preference on varieties. It’s also worth asking whether they have a preference on the size and uniformity, which might determine what varieties to use.

2. CSA

A community-supported agriculture operation is a great place to use kohlrabi. At least, that is, if you don’t overdo it. Customers enjoy getting different and unusual vegetables from time to time, but the goal with those vegetables (unless it is specifically an element of your CSA marketing to provide unique vegetables), is to simply offer something that the customer hasn’t tasted, not something that is too bizarre to eat. So make sure they understand what it is and how to use it. Try offering a recipe or two.

3. Storage Kohlrabi

One way to make kohlrabi more appealing and to have it sell better is to offer it when there is very little of anything else available (for example, mid- and late winter). Having this large, bulbous vegetable at a market or to offer to chefs when most other vegetables are out of season can be a great way to sell it.

4. Farmers Market

Simply having kohlrabi atop your market table might not make it sell on its own. What it can do, however, is bring customers in and start conversations. That’s not a reason to grow a crop, of course, but you can’t know whether it will sell in your market until you try, so it is nice to know that this crop is, if nothing else, a good draw. One good option, if you are allowed or are licensed, is to offer samples. A sample of a good kohlrabi should be about enough to sell it.

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5. Retail/Specialty

Some retail stores—especially perhaps with an emphasis on different ethnic cuisines—might be worth investigating f you have a lot of extra kohlrabi or hope to sell some. Wholesale isn’t always the best price per pound, but for a local, specialty item like this you might be able to get a decent wholesale price based on novelty alone.

6. Value Adding

There is always a way to add value to a crop by preparing it in some way for a customer to eat with little effort. Kohlrabi is a superb salad ingredient, and it pickles well. In fact, using kohlrabi in kimchi or sauerkraut—following all of your local regulations, of course—might be a fun addition to the market table or to your local retailer.

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