Date use in restaurants and foodservice applications has also been affected by the trend for healthier ingredients and alternatives to sugar.
“We have seen an increase of using dates on restaurant menus in the last several years. With an emphasis on healthier meals, chefs are using dates as the sweetener alternative in their dishes,” Cooper said.
Marketers hope these health attributes will help promote dates to the younger generation of Americans.
“Traditionally, the big consumers of dates have been ethnic groups such as the Middle Eastern, Italian and Jewish communities, but we’re trying to get them out more to the mainstream, younger American culture,” Antongiovanni said.