Foodservice menu trends highlighted

A new United Fresh foodservice report takes an in-depth look at spaghetti squash, pomegranates, and roasted vegetables on menus this fall.

The fall 2017 issue of United Fresh Produce Association’s quarterly Fresh Insights for Foodservice report is free to United Fresh Members and $50 to non-members, according to a news release. The report can be downloaded at the United Fresh website.

The report said that pomegranates have experienced 63% menu growth in quick service restaurants over the past four years, the best of any foodservice format. However, the percentage of restaurants with pomegranates on the menu is highest among fine dining establishments. Of those, 35% had pomegranate on the menu, compared with 27% for casual, 10% for midscale, 15% for fast casual and 8% for quick service restaurants.

The report said spaghetti squash has experienced even stronger menu growth, though penetration of the fresh produce item on menus still only ranges from 0% to 5% among all restaurant formats, according to the report.

Roasted vegetables, though showing slower growing on menus in the last four years compared with pomegranates and spaghetti squash, command menu penetration rates from 45% at quick-service restaurants to 89% in fine dining operations.

Besides looking at spaghetti squash, pomegranates and roasted vegetables in the “In Season” segment of the report, the publication also looks ahead to the spring with its “On the Horizon” coverage, according to the release.

“On the Horizon” highlights sunchokes, plantains and how chefs and operators are using fresh produce to boost the appeal of smoothies, according to the release.

In the “Top Chain Trends” segment of the 20-page report, authors looked at menu items featuring fresh herbs, cauliflower and microgreens.

In the “View from Above” section, the report interviews 2017 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winner Chef Shane Schaibly, Corporate Chef for First Watch Restaurants.

The Fresh Insights for Foodservice is developed in partnership with Datassential, according to the release, and sponsored by Tanimura & Antle.

 

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