Onions, peppers and tomatoes are featured often in bowl menu items offered by restaurants, a new report reveals.
The winter 2016 edition of United Fresh Produce Association’s Fresh Insights for Foodservice report looks at how produce plays a key role in “bowl” trends across many foodservice sectors.
In its focus on bowls, the United Fresh report said the top produce items for restaurants who sell bowls are onions ( 27%), peppers (21%), tomatoes (20%), carrots( 19%), broccoli (15%) and corn (12%). The fastest-growing produce items used in bowls, over the last four years, are kale (557%), lemons (557%), bok choy (294%), spinach (212%), red onions (185%) and baby corn (163%).
Among other features, the Fresh Insights report also reviews how produce plays a role in the modernization of college and university dining, according to the release. The report features an interview with United Fresh 2015 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program winner chef Bob Patton of Old Dominion University.
“College and university student diners are an important customer for the fresh produce industry, representing millenials, and the Winter 2016 Issue delivers insights on the offerings these consumers are looking for,” Jeff Oberman, United Fresh’s vice president of trade relations and liaison to United’s Retail-Foodservice Board. “Not only do colleges and universities serve thousands of meals daily, but the positive experiences these students encounter in their dining halls will translate into future demand at retail and foodservice when they begin making household food purchasing decisions.” 
The 20-page document, developed by market research firm Datassential, is free to United Fresh members and $50 to non-members and can be ordered online. Organized by four sections, the report looks at tending produce items, information on how produce is used in menu items, menu trends for chain restaurants and commodity-specific trends reports.