Produce shines as restaurant menus get healthier - The Packer

Produce shines as restaurant menus get healthier

03/19/2014 05:02:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Doug Meyer, vice president of sales and marketing for West Pak Avocado Inc., Murrieta, Calif., said he is “thrilled” with the reception the company’s avocados have enjoyed at foodservice.

“We are seeing interest and menu development across all segments of foodservice,” he said, from fast food to fine dining.

“We’re seeing a lot of avocado slices, cubed and diced in a number of applications — even on appetizers,” Meyer said.

Kathleen Preis, marketing coordinator for the Mushroom Council, San Jose, Calif., attributed some of the movement toward more healthful menus to social media, which have sparked “a kind of international dialogue about where food comes from and how healthy food is.”

“For the Mushroom Council and for produce in general, it’s a great opportunity as produce is continuously featured more and more center of the plate,” she said.

Commodity boards like the Mushroom Council and suppliers are working with restaurants “to create delicious options for consumers so they don’t have to sacrifice flavor,” she added.

“I think there are more healthy options being offered by multiple restaurant chains,” said Bob Hale, president, chairman and chief executive officer for River Point Farms, Hermiston, Ore.

But he added that just offering healthier alternatives may not be enough for a restaurant’s financial health.

“Time will tell whether they are profitable,” he said. “There have to be profits at the bottom line or you won’t be in business.”

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