Commodity boards realize the important role the foodservice industry can play in promoting fresh produce, and many routinely plan promotions and events that cater to chefs and foodservice operators.

Blueberry Council

The Folsom, Calif.-based U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council has a number of activities planned for 2016, said spokeswoman Julie Stas.  

The blueberry council will host its fifth annual Blueberry Boot Camp at the Culinary Institute of America"s Greystone Campus in California"s Napa Valley in the spring.

After hosting a successful School Boot Camp in July that brought together school foodservice professionals from across the country, the blueberry council plans to host another next summer.

The blueberry council also plans to sponsor the Research Chefs Association "to inspire culinary creativity within this audience of culinologists and increase use of blueberries in all its forms with chain operators to ingredient suppliers," Stas said.

The blueberry council will kick off an Innovator Program in 2016 in which the organization will partner with five up-and-coming young chefs to create unique recipes featuring blueberries in new applications.

Hass Avocado Board

The Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board is rebooting its foodservice marketing program with a focus on "better for you" menu strategies that target consumers by mirroring nutrition communications programs, said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director.

HAB has built a nutrition research program over the past five years that continues to scientifically document the benefits of eating fresh avocados, he said, especially in the areas of cardiovascular health, weight management/Type 2 diabetes and healthy living.

For a rebooted B2B section of the website, the board is creating new high-volume recipes and summarizing key nutrition facts in a way that food professionals can easily understand and use, he said.

"We will profile operators who are successfully menuing ‘better for you" avocado dishes as an inspiration to their peers," he said.

In January, HAB plans to sponsor the Worlds of Healthy Flavors conference at the Culinary Institute of America to continue its health/nutrition dialogue with operators.

Chilean Fresh Fruit

The main goal of the San Carlos, Calif.-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is to educate foodservice operators on what fruits are available from Chile, when they"re available, and offering trendy ideas for menus, said Karen Brux, managing director.

"We position our fruits as a counter-seasonal source for menus," she said.  

The association hopes to get its message out to the foodservice industry at a new Culinary Institute of America program scheduled for January called Appetites and Innovation A National Leadership Collaboration for Retail Foodservice.

Some of the activities in which the association participated in 2015 include the International Foodservice Editorial Council conference in Portland, Maine, in November that was attended by foodservice editors and writers and foodservice marketing representatives of boards and brands. The association also helped fund the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Blueberry Bootcamp and took part in the Produce Marketing Association"s Foodservice Show last summer.

Mushroom Council

The San Jose, Calif.-based Mushroom Council will try to keep the blendability concept blending mushrooms with meat top of mind among foodservice operators after many success stories during 2015, said Katie Preis, marketing manager.

Five chefs demonstrated their blendability expertise in an upscale Blended Burger Bash in October that was part of the James Beard annual conference in New York, she said.

The Blend also was in evidence throughout the Epcot Food &amp Wine Festival this year.

The Mushroom Council brought Mushroom Mania to University of Texas where The Blend was introduced at an outdoor barbecue and in a pop-up farmers market.