“More restaurants use them in a lot of their dishes, whether it’s a side dish or substitute,” he said.
C.J. Given, sales director for Taylor Farms Retail, Salinas, Calif., said media coverage of sprouts’ nutritional benefits, as well as their utilitarian aspects, has fed foodservice’s appetite for the vegetable.
“Part of that goes back to the cooking shows and the food networks, so you’re seeing them on a lot of menus that maybe you weren’t two years ago,” Given said.
Whatever the reasons, the numbers tell the story of brussels sprouts’ growth in restaurants, said Russ Widerburg, sales manager at Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
“We do a lot of restaurant and institutional business, and the foodservice aspect of it has really done a lot to help the category grow,” he said.
Some grower-shippers haven’t explored sprouts’ sales possibilities in the foodservice sector, but they plan to do that.
“That’s uncharted water for us, but we’re looking into the possibility of doing some foodservice packs,” said James de Lorimier, account and commodity manager for Salinas-based Growers Express.