How to Merchandise Fresh Pears to Increase Produce Sales

How to Merchandise Fresh Pears to Increase Produce Sales

May 25, 2022
Retail Industry Insights

While many shoppers are aware of the nutritional benefits of pears, some may shy away from purchasing because they don’t know the intricacies about how and when to enjoy them. With ten varieties of USA Pears, there is almost always a pear in season each with its own distinctive color, flavor, texture, and ideal usage occasions. The information below can help you create in-store merchandising displays helping shoppers choose the right pear, provide insights for e-commerce shoppers, or be used for livestreams and social posts.

USA Pears Varieties

Green Anjou

  • In season: September-July
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: The most important thing to know about Green Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, and their skin will remain green even when fully ripe. Checking the neck is the best indicator of ripeness. They are juicy when ripe, with subtle sweetness hinting at citrus flavor.

Red Anjou

  • In season: September-June
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Red Anjous show only slight change in color as they ripen, a characteristic shared with their Green Anjou counterparts. Red Anjous develop a mild, sweet flavor with very smooth texture and abundant juices when ripe. Their distinctive color makes them great for display as a centerpiece and in holiday snacking spreads.


  • In season: August-February
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Often, the Bartletts at the point of purchase are green, and then they change to yellow as they ripen at home when left at room temperature. Because Bartletts have a definitive flavor and sweetness, they are a good choice for many forms of processing and are traditionally known as the “canning pear.” Shoppers can use them for preserves, syrups, or chutneys, and they also make excellent dried pears.

Red Bartlett

  • In season: August-February
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Just as Yellow Bartletts change color while ripening, so do Red Bartletts, changing from a dark red often with light vertical striping to become a beautiful bright red. As they ripen, Red Bartletts offer different flavors and textures, starting crunchy and tart when underripe, and finishing super sweet and juicy when fully ripened.


  • In season: September-May
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Boscs are more firm and dense than other pear varieties, and sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process. As a result, the complex flavor, honey-sweetness, and juiciness of Bosc can be enjoyed before their flesh has fully softened. Sometimes, Bosc will also show a slight wrinkling at the base of the stem as well as a minimal color change as they ripen-- a green hue under the russeted skin will turn more yellow.


  • In season: September-March
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Because Comice have very fragile skins, take special care in handling this variety, which may take on a slight yellow hue as it ripens. Sometimes the pears may appear to be bruised on the surface, but more often than not this does not indicate damage on the juicy interior. The sweet buttery flesh of Comice can find no better compliment than when served with cheese, especially soft ripening cheeses like Brie, Camembert, or any of the blues. It is the extreme juiciness of Comice, which coincidentally makes them a poor choice for cooking, that earns them such high accolades for eating freshly sliced.


  • In season: September-January
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Much like the Bosc, the Concorde has a dense flesh that is sweet and juicy even when it is still firm. The Concorde is an excellent all-purpose pear. Shoppers can eat it fresh out of hand, slice it into salads, or try roasting, grilling, poaching, or sautéing. The more dense flesh of the Concorde make them ideal as a cooking pear as they hold shape and flavor. Plus, they are naturally slow to oxidize, or turn brown, after being cut, so they are amazing in salads and for sharing the spotlight on cheese boards.


  • In season: September-March
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Forelles are one of the few varieties of pears that do change color as they ripen. An attractive red freckling, called "lenticels," remains brilliantly visible while an underlying green skin turns bright yellow as they ripen. Their sweet flavor and small size makes Forelles a great snacking pear, and a winner in children’s lunch boxes. 


  • In season: September-March
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: Seckels are similar in size to Forelle pears, with a slightly firmer, delightfully crunchy texture and even sweeter flavor. They are also a great snacking pear, and can be canned whole.


  • In season: August-November
  • Ripening and Usage Tips: The Starkrimson is another of the few pears whose skin changes color as it ripens. Its color turns from deep crimson to bright crimson red, and the skin also becomes more thin and delicate. It is very juicy when ripe and has a pleasant, smooth texture, making it perfect for snacking, salads, or any fresh use that shows off the brilliance of its skin. 

Other tips for shoppers, for sharing on social media and e-commerce sites

  • Check the Neck™ to determine when a pear is ripe. For all pear varieties, apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear near the stem with thumb. If it yields to pressure, it’s ripe and ready to eat. Firmer pear varieties, such as Bosc, will give a little less than others.
  • To ripen a pear at home, leave at room temperature. For extra fast ripening, store near other fruits like apples or bananas.
  • Store ripened pears in the refrigerator to make them last longer.
  • For the best nutritional benefit, advise shoppers to enjoy pears with the skin on, since that’s where most of the fiber and antioxidants are found.

With pears as with all produce, recipe inspiration can go a long way. Sharing easy recipes with via printed recipe cards, social media or on your website can help inspire shoppers to branch out from their basics and try new ingredients. Visit USA Pears to learn more about pear nutrition and explore recipe inspiration.