It has taken awhile for restaurants to place much emphasis on healthier fare because of an anti-health stigma that has pervaded for years following the unsuccessful launch of a few healthful items that lacked flavor by major fast-food chains in the 1980s and 1990s, she said.
The perception among foodservice operators that fresh produce costs more than the alternatives has been another barrier for produce. However, DeLyser referenced a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that shows the average price per serving of a fruit or vegetable snack is 34 cents compared to 67 cents for unhealthy snacks.
“Consumers want fresh fruits and vegetables because they taste better,” she said.
According to the association, the show and the co-located International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, saw the third year of consecutive registration growth, at 63,876, at 10.5% growth since 2011.