The National Watermelon Promotion Board hopes to boost foodservice sales with the aid of a new research tool.
The Winter Springs, Fla.-based board has conducted an analysis of watermelon menu options using Datassential MenuTrends Research, a database featuring menus from more than 7,000 restaurants, according to a news release.
The analysis follows the establishment, in 2014, of the board"s foodservice department.
The Datassential research found that watermelon is mentioned on 8.4% of menus and is the 27th most popular restaurant fruit.
Watermelon lags behind other fruit at adoption, the term that describes a food transitioning from mainstream restaurants to food trucks and casual dining restaurants.
Watermelons are one of the fastest-growing fruits on salad menus, according to the research, with penetration increasing 50% from 2010 to 2014.
The fruit is also a top-growing smoothie flavor, with a 51% increase since 2010.
Watermelon is featured on 3% of appetizer, entree and side menus and on 6% of beverage menus. About 7% of beverages on restaurant cocktail menus include watermelon.