Brussels sprouts have enjoyed surging consumer demand with lots of interest in recipes incorporating the trendy vegetable. ( Photo courtesy Ocean Mist Farms )

Google searches related to Brussels sprouts reveal strong interest in the vegetable around the holidays, inquiries about the nutritional benefits of the vegetable and curiosity about how to use Brussels sprouts in recipes.

Consumer interest and purchases of fresh Brussels sprouts have climbed in recent years, from 0.28 pounds per person in 2010 to 0.69 pounds per person in 2015.

The fastest rising Google search trend is “nutritional value of Brussels sprouts,” and industry leaders say consumers are connecting the dots.

“Thanks to extraordinary nutritional benefits, Brussels sprouts are undergoing a renaissance,” said Jacob Shafer, senior marketing and communications specialist for Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing.

Consumers have seen Brussels sprouts prepared in many different ways in restaurants and they have brought creativity to their supermarket purchases, said Butch Corda, general manager of Ippolito International LP, Salinas, Calif.

Merchandising options including bulk, cello bags, halved and shredded Brussels sprouts make it easier for consumers to prepare what they see at restaurants, he said.

“People go into restaurants, they order them and see how many different ways they can be prepared, and they have made their way into households,” he said.

Craig Carlson, owner of Chicago-based Produce Consulting LLC, said Brussels sprouts are a traditional vegetable that has benefited from popularity in foodservice.

“A lot of the old legacy vegetables are really catching on because the chefs are utilizing new ways to cook them,” he said.

Brussels sprouts continue to grab foodservice headlines.

For example, the United Fresh Produce Association’s winter 2018 Fresh Insights for Foodservice Report reported the Fox & Hound Bar & Grill chain added deep-fried Brussels sprouts featuring fresh Brussels sprouts deep fried, drizzled with balsamic glaze, and topped with Parmesan.

Peak Google search activity for Brussels sprouts in the past year occurred Nov. 19-25 and Dec. 24-30, according to Google Trends.

According to Google Trends, some of the top 10 fastest-rising searches related to Brussels sprouts in the U.S. from March 2017 to March 2018 were:

  • Nutritional value of Brussels sprouts;
  • Storing Brussels sprouts;
  • How to clean Brussels sprouts;
  • Parmesan crusted Brussels sprouts;
  • Bang bang Brussels sprouts;
  • Instant pot Brussels sprouts;
  • Smashed Brussels sprouts;
  • Kung pao Brussels sprouts; and
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash.
 
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