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    Foodservice Menu Trends: An ‘Appeeling’ Idea: Fruit Gains Popularity As Healthy Alternative

    Knouse Foods, a fruit-grower owned cooperative, sees increased interest in fruit-related products as foodservice operations add more good-for-you foods to their menu offerings. According to the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot Chef Survey,” nutrition is a leading culinary theme.

    By Bob Ingram

    Knouse Foods, a fruit-grower owned cooperative, sees increased interest in fruit-related products as foodservice operations add more good-for-you foods to their menu offerings. According to the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot Chef Survey,” nutrition is a leading culinary theme.

    Adding more fruit to the menu appeals to increasingly health-minded consumers and boosts sales with greater meal variety. QSR Magazine lists fruit as the second-leading “good for growth” kids’ side dish for quick-service restaurants and notes that more restaurants in general are incorporating fruit into appetizers and entrees to appeal to a broader customer base. Knouse Foods further confirms products in demand include real-fruit toppings for dessert pizzas and breakfast items, and single-serve applesauce cups as a side dish or to-go option. Also, restaurants are utilizing fruit such as apple slices on salads and sandwiches for added health benefits and enhanced flavor.

    “Fruit is a natural way for chefs and operators to explore flavor and texture for multiple menu parts, while increasing a dish’s nutritional profile,” said Michael Todd, foodservice manager for Knouse Foods. “There are so many fruit options, from classics to the more exotic blends, that inspire creativity and appeal to both adults and children.”

    Top Knouse products and recipe ideas to help meet demands and boost foodservice sales include: single-serve items like portion-controlled, ready-to-eat applesauce cups such as Musselman’s Totally Fruit Applesauce, which is naturally sweetened with fruit juice concentrate and contains no high fructose corn syrup, and is available in apple, preach, and strawberry flavors; and Musselman’s Home-Style Chunky Applesauce, a chunky blend of apples and spice to add a slightly tart, bold flavor.

    Menu applications that boost nutritional value and diversity across meal parts include:

    Apple Salsa: A twist on a patron favorite, this salsa is made with applesauce, making it a perfect compliment to chips, vegetables, and meats.
    Caraway Pork and Apples: Sliced apples add tangy and sweet flavors. Serve over noodles with a mustard garnish for a savory finish.
    Easy Apple Cheese Danish: A simple technique for a quick-to-prepare breakfast pastry that is sweet to eat.
    Dessert Pizza: A popular concept made with fruit for fuller flavors and menu differentiation.

    For more information about other recipe ideas, click here.

    By Bob Ingram
    • About Bob Ingram

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