( United Fresh Produce Association )

Guava and rutabaga are among the fresh produce items highlighted in the winter 2019 issue of United Fresh Produce Association’s Fresh Insights for Foodservice report.

“This issue shows fresh produce can truly shine throughout the year. Even in the winter, there are plenty of fresh options to delight diners from coast to coast,” Andrew Marshall, United Fresh Produce Association’s director of foodservice and foundation partnerships, said in a release. “With the report’s forward-looking sections, chefs, foodservice operators, and other food industry decision-makers can gain insight into fresh produce trends and what diners are looking for when eating outside their home.” 

Looking at the use of guava on restaurant menus, the report said the commodity is featured more in fine dining establishments than any other type of restaurant. The report said 8% of fine dining restaurants has guava on the menu, compared with 3% for quick service restaurants and 4% for fast casual.

Over the past four years, however, the use of guava in foodservice has risen 70% for quick service restaurants compared with just 29% for fine dining.

Rutabaga is rarely featured by foodservice operators as well. The commodity is featured at just 2% of fine dining operations, with less than 1% featured at casual and mid-scale restaurants.

The report said, however, that rutabaga is growing on menus as a plant-forward alternative to animal proteins.

Looking to the summer months, the publication looked at foodservice uses for sweet cherries and zucchinis. The report said cherries enjoy 68% menu penetration at fine dining establishments, compared with just 33% for zucchini.

The publication’s “Chain Report” looks at chain menu trends involving cranberries, Brussels sprouts and lemon, according to the release. The report’s “View From Above” section includes an interview with a past winner of the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, executive chef Ype Von Hengst of Silver Diner restaurant chain.

Fresh Insights for Foodservice is developed in partnership with Datassential, a leading market research firm and is free to United Fresh members and for $50 for non-members at www.unitedfresh.org.