Seasonal fruits and vegetables take center plate.
With summer in full swing, a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables are ready to offer vibrant flavors to mealtime. Businesses can capitalize on seasonal selections by updating and adapting their menu offerings. Not only does this show that your business is constantly looking to improve and freshen the menu, it also highlights your commitment to consumer interest in healthy foods and sustainability. In this post you’ll discover how five seasonal menu items can satisfy your customers and increase your business’ profitability.
Why Seasonal, Local and Organic Sells
U.S. consumers are becoming more conscientious about what they eat and where their food is coming from; actively avoiding unpronounceable ingredients. Sixty-one percent of consumers say they look for natural ingredients in what they eat.1 Clean food is associated with a healthy and balanced lifestyle and consumers are willing to pay more for fresh, organic, natural and unprocessed ingredients. Start small. Try adding some of these ingredients to your core menu items to reimagine them into a seasonal limited time dish and see how it can be a revenue opportunity1.
1. Beautiful Berries
Once spring and summer arrives, all types of berries are ripe for serving. Not only are they colorful and tasty, but they’re bursting with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber to help keep bodies happy and healthy. Allow your patrons to power up in the morning with a healthy berry shake or raspberry smoothie. Strawberry can also help brighten the morning in a healthy and hearty way. Try making a Super Berry Almond Crunch Bowl
Kettle Hearty Oatmeal and a bounty of berries and almonds for a heart-healthy breakfast.
Here are some fresh menu ideas to serve up this season: Berries are also great additions to romaine or spinach-based salads, adding sweetness, tartness and bright color. In the hot summer months, use berries to top off frozen yogurt, ice cream or gelato.
2. Stellar Stone Fruit Breakfasts
Stone fruits such as mangos, papayas and plums are fresh in late spring and make a great addition to your menu. They’re particularly well-suited for breakfast dishes where their texture and flavor stand up to the hearty grains in oatmeal or porridge. A Quaker® Tropical Oatmeal is a delicious way to start the day. The simple recipe can be batch-prepared ahead of time and your customers will love the sweet and crunchy flavors. Mangos contain Vitamin A, C and folate and K, making them an ideal fruit for health-conscious eaters.
3. Awesome Avocados
Americans are crazy about avocados, and if you don’t currently offer them in your recipes, you should definitely get in on the trend. Avocados can be added to salads, sandwiches, smoothies or on top of tacos. Even just simply spread on a slice of toast can make a healthy and filling meal. Avocados contain healthy fats, potassium and Vitamin E and can be easily adapted to your existing menu items.
Millennials and Gen Z have already jumped on the avocado bandwagon and like to put it on everything. According to research by Hass Avocado Board, "millennial households are more likely to buy avocados and spend more on avocados than non-millennials — +22 percent more per occasion."2
For a shared snack your customers will love, try making Southwestern Nachos made with Tostitos®
Tortilla Chips served with Sabra®
4. Cool Chilled Vegetable Soups
When the weather gets hot, it’s time to go cold. A great example of this is soup, which is less popular to eat in the summer heat but makes a great, easy to prepare, portable dish your customers will love to eat cold. Use seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet corn to make simple, flavorful soup recipes. A gazpacho can be whipped up in minutes with tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and onion. It’s a light meal packed with vitamins and vegetables for your health-aware customer.
When the weather gets hot, it’s time to go cold.
5. Mind-Blowing Mediterranean Sandwiches
Give your customer’s palate a chance to travel via food by serving up Mediterranean-inspired sandwiches. Instead of a plain chicken sandwich, try serving a Mediterranean version with tomato and spinach and creamy Sabra hummus. It’s a perfect meal in the spring and summer, as well as a great way to consume healthy fats, vitamins and fiber.
Check out part two
for five more ideas for adding seasonal fruits and vegetables to your summer menu.
- 1 Technomic Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 2016
- 2 Hass Avocado Board Research