In many climates, spinach grows well for at least three out of four seasons, and for the most part, customers know what to do with this crop—it is good for cooking and for salads, not to mention that it’s highly nutritious and easy to use.
However, an abundance of spinach might call for an abundance of marketing approaches, so today I’ll lay out your options and give some insight into how, where and in what form you can sell spinach.
1. Bunching Spinach
Especially in the spring and winter, when the conditions are favorable for growing tall spinach, bunching spinach can be a great way to sell this crop. The idea is that larger leaves attached to long stems can simply be bunched together like kale or chard and sold that way. This is perhaps a better market or retail store item than restaurant item, but finding customers for this will definitely be easier in the off seasons—winter and early spring especially. Summer can work, of course, in more northern climates.
2. Baby Spinach
It takes some practice and skills to grow great baby spinach, as it is easily swallowed by weeds. But if you can get your soil cultivation down, baby spinach can fetch a nice price. Sell baby spinach in clamshells or other rigid containers that do not press too hard against the small, delicate leaves. Bags can work, but it is nice to find something that gives it a little room. This is a great restaurant, retail or market item and should be sold by the pound.
3. Micro Spinach
This is primarily a restaurant item for the price you’d have to charge, but micro spinach can be an elegant and profitable crop to grow. However, because it is slow growing and disease prone as a microgreen, it is perhaps not a crop for micro beginners. Once you master the growing part, though, market this crop to restaurants year round and charge well for it. Also, package it loosely in clamshells so you avoid damaging the tender greens.
4. Leaf Spinach
Between bunching spinach and baby spinach lives, well, just spinach. This is leaf spinach, and it’s what most people probably associate with spinach. It can be cooked or eaten in salads. Restaurants, retail or farmers markets are all good fits for marketing and selling this crop. It fits neatly into bags, which tend to be a cheaper and more efficient packaging than clamshells.
5. Value Added Products
Spinach, when frozen at its peak nutrition, can be an excellent value added product for summer sales when greens are scarce. Of course, all processing of vegetables must be done in a commercial kitchen or with a home processing license, but freezing is generally easier and more easily approved than canning anything—plus, it’s nutritious. You can also consider spinach artichoke dip, spinach soups or spinach for juicing. Almost anywhere you see spinach on a menu, you can use spinach as a product to sell on your table.