U.S. consumers value freshness over local and seasonal when they eat out, according to a new survey by the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.
Freshness tops the lists of consumers’ preferences, according to research commissioned by the San Carlos, Calif.-based association and conducted by research firm Datassential, according to an association news release.
With the increased demand for fresh fruits, more and more foodservice operators are looking for fruit sources in other hemispheres, according to the association.
Three-quarters of the 4,800 U.S. restaurants surveyed in the study have at least one fruit item on their menus, and almost 8% of all dishes feature at least one fruit ingredient.
Whole fresh fruit is the most commonly purchased kind of fruit purchased in restaurants, and the word “fresh” occurs more in menus than “seasonal,” “organic” or “local,” according to the study.
“Chefs know how much appeal fresh fruit brings to the table, and so do their patrons,” Karen Brux, the association’s managing director for North America, said in the release. “Chile fills in the gaps to ensure supplies of fresh fruit when domestic fruits are out of season. We work closely with our growers and exporters to ensure that fresh fruit from Chile is high in quality and as convenient, consistent and reliable as possible.”