“Kids’ palates are really expanding. Gone are the days of just chicken nuggets. They are looking for exciting new flavors and are appreciative of interesting new foods.”
For Tom Hoversen, president of Camden, N.J.-based Comarco Products Inc., getting involved with the center has been a new segment for the company and an exciting way to expose children to eggplant in school lunches.
Comarco, a vegetable processor, provides the eggplant cutlets for the eggplant rollatini.
“We see it as a new business opportunity,” he said.
“We’re behind it and we’re very hopeful.”
Holtaway said that as the idea catches on interest will spike, but everyone wants to see how it will work in a real-life market situation and how the food products are accepted.
Currently, 15-20 schools have participated in the project in some way.
“We know what our challenges are — it has to makes sense profitability-wise for farmers, and foods have to taste appealing to kids and be easy to prepare on the foodservice side,” she said.