Brussels sprouts may soon be sneaking into the salad mixes in grocery stores, if restaurant trends continue.
As is typical when new product uses are introduced, chefs are leading the way in brussels sprouts’ resurgence.
“In the foodservice side of things, we’re starting to see Brussels sprout salads, or chefs are mixing them in with the lettuce,” said Mishalin Modena, senior marketing manager for Salinas, Calif.-based Green Giant Fresh.
These new uses of Brussels sprouts have expanded their popularity into the summer months.
“Now people are eating them year round with different combinations of shredded or diced Brussels in salads,” said Butch Corda, general manager of Ippolito International LP, Salinas, Calif.
“Seven or eight years ago, Brussels sprouts used to be just a cooking item which had more popularity in winter, but we’ve seen an increase in summer sales,” said Russ Widerburg, sales manager at Boskovich Farms, Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
Modena said even though Green Giant doesn’t offer shredded or chopped Brussels sprouts options, she appreciates the move in that direction.
“I think it’s great they are moving to that. Their nutritional value is great, so adding them into more convenient items is beneficial to consumers,” she said.
“Some people fall back on traditional cooking methods then, but a lot of other people are trying to duplicate the newer recipes they are seeing in restaurants,” Corda said.
Some of those new recipes include sauteing, roasting or grilling, with the latter adding an additional push to summer sales.
“It’s really opened up the slower summer months, whether people are barbecuing them or serving them in salads,” Corda said.
Other new trends include using halved or quartered Brussels sprouts, a trend Modena has seen emerge on the East Coast.
“In metropolitan areas, we’re seeing that pop up. A lot of New York restaurants are serving them halved or quartered, roasting them and serving them as a side dish,” she said. “It started on the East Coast and is now moving out to the West.”
She says suppliers may start offering those chopped versions to consumers in the future as additional value-added offerings.