Every year, new and up-and-coming ingredients make their way onto restaurant menus, such as fruits and vegetables. We’ve seen it with brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower and more.
But how do these trends come to be?
For produce specifically, innovative chefs continue to incorporate under-utilized fruits and vegetables in their dishes and look for new, creative ways to highlight them through non-traditional preparations. When an application is particularly successful, restaurants and guests can spread the word on the innovative creations with help from useful tools like social media.
Keep reading to learn what the produce trends this year and beyond are gearing up to look like.
Fruit and Vegetable Trends
Cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts are expected to remain popular. We might even see potatoes show some increased interest coming out of the pandemic as chefs look at new ways to top off what is considered a healthy vegetable (that is, unless they’re topped with butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon. I mean, who doesn’t like a loaded potato? I sure do!)
Still, there are so many varieties and so many other plant-forward options you can pair with potatoes.
It’s also suspected that we will continue to see other international fruits and vegetables come into the country due to increasing flavor and menu diversity in the usual large markets. Local produce will continue to grow in popularity, as it remains a popular buzzword.
What About Produce Trends That Aren’t Edible?
The biggest trend we are seeing happen in Produce is not item specific – but buying specific. It’s called SKU optimization.
More than ever, foodservice operators are under immense pressure to keep food costs down and buy as efficiently as possible. As a result, their buying direction is to purchase full cases wherever possible instead of splits, and to buy whole product instead of pre-cut for critical menu items, to help with shelf life and flavor. Not only are the full case quantities more cost-effective per pound, but the consolidation of SKUs would be beneficial for distribution to help eliminate labor, carbon footprint in packaging, yield loss, and traceability concerns.
Effective SKU management and optimization can easily result in 10%+ savings on key commodities.
Unfortunately, identifying where the SKU Optimization opportunities are within your buying can be challenge itself, let alone difficult to manage and implement across all locations due to availability.
Fresh Concepts is in Your Corner
At Fresh Concepts, we are uniquely capable of managing all SKUs and finding the most impactful opportunities to optimize your buying. We also help you stay up to date on commodity insights and trends.
Our team of produce experts can help you with all your produce management needs. From menu development to produce specification selection, we are here to keep you informed on the latest produce trends, find you the best savings, and provide you with the support you need to manage your produce process.
Contact us today to get started!