(May 23) Snap peas are specialty items that appeal to all consumers.

Merchandise them in visible locations with brightly colored signs available from most suppliers that explain what the product is and how to prepare it. This will attract curious customers who are apprehensive about trying new things.

Snap peas are a combination of English peas and snow peas. They are widely known as sugar snap peas because of their sweet flavor.

Robert Schueller, assistant marketing director for Melissa’s/World Variety Produce Inc., Los Angeles, says that the vegetable is used by many cultures but is predominately used in European and Asian cuisine.

“It is one of the best-selling peas, next to snow peas,” he says.


Denise Snyder, assistant produce manager for Martin’s Super Markets, one of 21 stores in the South Bend, Ind.-based chain, says that snap peas are often used for stir-fry and displayed in a special stir-fry section.

Create a stir-fry section in your department and merchandise snap peas along with snow peas, carrots, celery, Asian mushrooms, onions, sprouts, ginger, shallots and jicama.

She says they draw attention to the vegetable by highlighting it with brightly colored starburst signs that outlines what the item is along with the price, which is normally $3.99 per pound.

Mark Crandall, produce manager for Maceys, one of 10 stores in the Sandy, Utah-based chain, says he displays snap peas on a 2-foot gourmet rack with items like hot peppers. He says sales increase when he promtoes the vegetable with colorful signs available from Melissa’s that include information on how to cook and eat snap peas, as well as what they taste like.

He says the store normally sells two to three cases of snap peas each week at a regular price of $2.99 to $3.99 per pound. At a sale price of $1.49 to $1.99 per pound, the store sells about 10 cases a week, he says.

Tell consumers to look for crisp and firm green pods that enclose plump peas. Advise them to make sure the pods are not too dry at the seam or tips and avoid signs of yellowing, which is an indication of dehydration.

Snap peas can be used as a substitute for snow peas in recipes and can be eaten raw or cooked by stir-frying, boiling, steaming or microwaving. Tell shoppers to be careful not to overcook or the pods will come apart.

Snap peas are ethylene-sensitive and should not be transported with ethylene producing commodities. They also are moderately sensitive to freezing injury, but should be able to recover from one to two light freezings.


CARE: Store the vegetable at 32-34 F (0-1.1 C) for three to five days. Advise consumers to store snap peas in a plastic bag inside their vegetable crisper to ensure freshness. Wash and removethe stem and string before using.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Snap peas are a good source of phosphorus, thiamin, fiber, vitamins A and K and they provide 100 percent of the reference daily intake for vitamin C.