Research from the foodservice industry research firm, Technomic, suggests that summer menus are full of innovative uses of summer vegetables. Here are a few:
Corn: Technomic consulting firm predicts a significant increase in corn’s presence over the course of the next two years. You’ll see corn’s appearance in adult beverages and 10.6% bump of instances on kids menus. Consumers can expect more corn paired with Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as lamb burgers and kabobs.
Cucumber: You may be seeing a little more of the cucumber this summer. Although this root vegetable is already extremely versatile, we may see a rise in its use of over 16%in the next two years in pasta and noodle dishes There is also 40% more menu appearances of cucumber in starter tacos and taquitos.
Swiss Chard: This nutritional powerhouse will be appearing in appetizers and starters 17.6% more compared to previous years. Expect a 50% increase of these colorful greens in egg dishes over the next two years, such as the addition of swiss chard mixed into omelets and frittatas for a morning nutritional energy boost.
Eggplant: Technomic says the versatile and international aubergine will be seen 33% more often in breakfast and be 200% more prevalent in garden, house and side salads over the next two years. Technomic also says don’t be surprised if you start to see eggplant as a fish and tempura alternative in vegan sushi rolls.
Fun Fact: Many mistake the eggplant for a vegetable due to its numerous savory applications, but it’s actually a fruit! Since it is so hard to believe, we placed eggplant in the veggie edition of Mainstay Flavors of Summer.
What else you can expect from these vegetable summertime staples in 2018?
- Cornmeal-based waffles and pizza dough
- Increase of fermented and pickled cucumbers
- Eggplant Used as a meat substitute such as meatless jerky and eggplant bacon
- Increased mentions of Swiss chard atop pizzas and flatbreads
- Healthier corn snacks, such as corn chips and corn puffs
- More cucumbers in Asian dishes including Korean-style tacos and shrimp spring rolls
- Roasted, seared and glazed eggplant at the center of the plate
- Innovative swiss chard applications in Asian dishes
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.