The Shoppers Guide For Buying Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

The Shoppers Guide For Buying Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

Shipt is preparing to launch on-demand grocery delivery in Birmingham, Alabama this May. We’ve been busy building, testing and tweaking to make this service something Birmingham finds valuable. Hundreds of hours have been spent walking our pilot’s journey, preparing tips to ensure shopper expertise. Any member of our team could pick a perfect mango with their eyes closed.

We’ve bought so much fresh produce in the last two weeks that our office could function as a neighborhood supermarket. There are several varietals of apples under my desk and a cubanelle pepper next to my computer.  Literally.

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. Each of our Shipt Pilots are personally trained how to pick the perfect produce. Katie, our in-house grocery shopping expert and trainer has compiled a list of quick tips for selecting the tricky items at the supermarket.

Apples – Check each apple to make sure there are no major bruises and that it’s not soft at all. If you grab a bag, look for sneaky bruises. Good luck!

Artichokes – Choose heads with thick, green stalks.

Asparagus – Choose stalks that are green all the way toward the bottom.

Avocados – Check the dry little button on the stem end. If it’s brown, it’s too ripe. Choose one that’s green/yellow.

Bananas – Choose completely yellow (no green) colored bananas. A few brown spots are okay, but not many.

Blueberries – Pick blueberries that are plump and completely blue (no red tint).

Broccoli – Look for tops that are completely green (no yellow).

Cabbage – Leaves should be dark green and firm with only a few loose ones on the outside.

Cantaloupe – Check for defects, the rind under the netlike skin should be golden or yellow/orange. Avoid melons that have underlying green or white color. With all melons, tap it with the palm of your hand. If it sounds hollow, it’s good.

Cauliflower – Never pick a cauliflower with brown spots on the heads.

Cucumber – Make sure cucumbers are totally green and firm.

Eggplant – Ensure that eggplant is dark purple all the way around and firm.

Grapes – Green grapes should have a yellowish, translucent hue rather than a true green. Red grades should be bright crimson. Black grapes should be dark purple.

Honeydew – The best honeydew is dull yellow in color. Bright or green indicates that it’s underripe.

Mangos – Slightly soft (gives a little when squeezed) are best, but make sure they are not mushy.

Oranges Citrus Fruits – Find evenly shaped citrus and make sure they are firm!

Onions – Onions should be firm and heavy in relation to their size.

Peaches – Squeeze the area near the stem. It should give slightly, but not be mushy. It should be fragrant. Peaches that aren’t fragrant or are dull in color are not ready.

Potatoes – Potatoes should be firm and evenly shaped. Look for blemishes and bruises.

Strawberries – Try and choose small to medium sized strawberries that are fully red (not white at the top) and look all around the crate for bruises and mold.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes must fully red (no green towards the top) and relatively firm. Double check for bruises.

Watermelon – The ripest watermelons will have a large yellow spot underneath, heavy for it’s size, and should sound hollow when you tap it.

Zucchini – Choose zucchini that is firm all the way around, solid in color, and free of blemishes.

Want more tips? Lifehacker published a helpful infographic about what to look for when buying vegetables. 


Shipt is preparing to launch on-demand grocery delivery in Birmingham, Alabama this May, and we invite you to stay connected with the journey.

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