Not only is seasonality a hit in foodservice, micro-seasons can create better urgency.
“Seasonality is the key to limited-time-offers,” said Mike Kostyo, trendologist at Datassential, which collaborates with the United Fresh Produce Association BB #:145458 on its quarterly Fresh Insights for Foodservice. “Late-summer, early-fall are great micro seasons.”
United Fresh highlighted foodservice trends in an Aug. 21 webinar for its Fresh Insights Summer report.
This summer, consumers have seen a rise in the trend of treating a fruit or vegetable like a meat, and preparing and cooking it as such, Kostyo said.
Another trend that’s been on the rise this summer has been kebabs and skewers.
“It’s a good opportunity for produce,” Kostyo said. “For every piece of meat, you can have one or two pieces of fruit or vegetable.”
Looking ahead to winter trends, he said grapefruit has been on the rise, having seen strong usage instance rise in the last four years, including 110 percent in the fast casual category.
“It’s become very popular in drinks, such as radlers, sherries and seltzers,” he said.
Kostyo said expect to see soups and stews continue to increase on menus.
“Traditional recipes are on the decline, like chicken noodle soup and minestrone,” he said, but soups with radish, green peppers and butternut squash are rising.
In the category, ramen is the fastest growing, with 61 percent rise in menu usage in the past four years. Most ramen dishes include fruits and vegetables, he said.