United Fresh Releases Fresh Insights for Foodservice, Summer Edition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Summer 2019 issue of United Fresh’s Fresh Insights for Foodservice is now available to download from the publications library of the United Fresh website. This quarterly report highlights on-trend applications for fresh produce in restaurants, at retail, in meal kits and more. 

The Summer 2019 issue spotlights pineapple and collard greens, two on-trend, seasonal produce items that are appearing on menus in unconventional ways. Aside from its well-known use with tropical drinks and deserts, pineapple can also be included in savory preparations to surprise and delight. Collard greens, while typically known as a Southern staple, also are being used in new ways. Increasingly, Collards are being used to attract health-conscious consumers, with uses in smoothies and other dishes, providing diners with a nutrition boost. The report also looks-at the latest trend data on plant-forward kebabs and skewers, perfect for the summertime grilling season, or as a convenient way to highlight a variety of fresh, colorful produce. Kebabs can include traditional grilled applications, sweet presentations with fruit, and also fun, easy to eat, salad skewers.

“The bounty of fresh produce that’s available in the summer is undeniable, and foodservice operators certainly have their pick when it comes to offering new fresh options, and creative and unexpected ways of presenting familiar favorites,” said Andrew Marshall, Director of Foodservice & Foundation Partnerships, United Fresh. “Our summer report includes a variety of well-known produce commodities, highlighting creative applications, and ways chefs are delighting and inspiring consumers to enjoy fresh.”

The On the Horizon section takes a look ahead at winter menu trends, including how parsnips and grapefruit are currently being showcased. Soups and stews are also highlighted as hearty dishes that can serve as a a blank canvas for a variety of fresh veggies. This quarter’s Chain Report covers an array of commodities that were featured on menus at major chains in recent months, including cucumbers, passion fruit, and romaine.

Closing out the issue, the View From Above section explores fresh produce’s role in college and university foodservice and features an interview with Executive Chef Lesa Holford of The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, winner of the 2019 United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award in the Colleges & Universities category. Chef Lesa oversees menu planning, collaboration and research with suppliers, as well as the university’s local food purchasing program. In this issue, readers will learn how her program is introducing students to globally inspired dishes that feature ethnic produce options, like choy sum, Thai basil, and lemongrass, as well as how she is introducing students to a tremendous selection of fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of foodservice formats. Chef Lesa also shares successes and challenges that come with meeting the demand of feeding over 45,000 hungry college students each day.

As an added value, the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board and Datassential will host a webinar to highlight statistics included in the Summer 2019 report. The webinar will occur Wednesday, August 21 at 12:00 Noon EST, providing an opportunity for produce professionals with an interest in foodservice to ask questions and gain a broader understanding of what may be driving current trends. Registration for the webinar is available here. The webinar will be moderated by said Sarah Grady, Manager of U.S. Strategic Supply Chain at McDonald’s Corporation and Vice Chair of the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board.

“Whether you’re involved in sourcing, menu development, or work for a distributor that services restaurant accounts, United’s Fresh Insights for Foodservice contains valuable information that individuals in all segments of the produce foodservice supply chain can benefit from,” said Grady. “The foodservice-focused webinar series offers value beyond the written report. It provides an engaging forum for the webinar participants to ask questions of the moderator and each other to gain greater insights into why certain produce is trending. We encourage participants to share their perspective and learn from one another.”

Fresh Insights for Foodservice is developed in partnership with Datassential, a leading market research firm. 

United Fresh Members receive complimentary access to Fresh Insights for Foodservice. The report is $50 to non-members. To download the report, visit the United Fresh Publications Library.

For questions about the report, contact Andrew Marshall, United Fresh’s Director of Foodservice & Foundation Partnerships at 202-303-3407. For questions about the data or content in Fresh Insights for Foodservice, contact Mike Kostyo, Datassential, [email protected].

About United Fresh Produce Association

Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. And, through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org.