Fresh foods fuel culinary trends

Radishes Cleaned 95149

Fresh radishes

Consumer survey data found that the most important food characteristic to consumers is freshness.

A survey conducted by the US market research company, Packaged Facts, found that freshness is the most important food characteristic when choosing food.

Both fresh celery and fennel offer versatility, and the ability to use all parts of the plants in various ways.  As well they add flavour and colour during the winter months. Their use is spreading in restaurants.

“Treating both vegetables as value-added products in grocery stores by displaying all the various parts together  —  bulb, root, stem, leaves, even seeds and pollen — draws and educates shoppers eager for new kitchen adventures,” the report said.

Fresh mint is livening appetisers, sandwiches, salads, relishes and salsas, and it’s bringing an international flair to savoury dishes.

“With mint part of the arsenal of so many different on-trend cuisines — from Vietnamese to Mediterranean to Mexican — it’s not surprising that chains are starting to pick up the trend, using mint as a kind of shorthand for authenticity,” Packaged Facts said.

Radishes are reaching into several sections of the supermarket: as a value-added vegetable in the produce aisle, a burger topping at the deli counter and a roast chicken accompaniment on the hot food bar. The adaptable vegetables have a place in the food service segment as well.

“Fast food restaurants can take a cue from food trucks and juice bars by adding a peppery punch of radish to everything from fish tacos to breakfast smoothies,” Packaged Facts said.

Specialty greens are appearing everywhere in retail and food service. Lettuces, microgreens and herbs such as sorrel are appearing in specialty mixes at retail outlets and in salads, small plates and garnishes in restaurants.

Source: Rebekah Schouten,

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