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United Fresh Report Highlights Summertime Foodservice Menu Trends for Fresh Produce

Jun 20, 2014

Fruits and vegetables add spark to summer menus

WASHINGTON, DC – The new issue of United’s Fresh Insights for Foodservice report explores how innovative chefs are adding fresh fruits and vegetables to create flavorful summer menus. The summer issue reports how the classic tastes of watermelon adds the perfect warm-weather refreshment, and that menus featuring butter lettuce add an upscale touch. These trends and more are part of the Summer 2014 edition of Fresh Insights for Foodservice, a quarterly report from United Fresh showcasing the latest innovations in fresh produce use in foodservice.

The Fresh Insights report also looks at how fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs can transform modern cocktails, while savory tarts create a rich dish with a healthy halo. There’s also news about restaurant operators using produce-driven menu items to usher in spring and summer menus last quarter, including roasted vegetables, lemons, and seasonal sangrias. Additionally, the report cites menu introductions at chains, including some fresh-focused marketing campaigns.

The summer report of Fresh Insights includes a look at the top fresh produce ingredients at America’s ballparks, with apples, peppers and cucumbers on the menus at concession stands. Ballparks increasingly feature fresh produce stands, chopped salad and wrap stands, and even vegetarian and vegan options.

“Using fresh produce in summer menus is a great strategy for foodservice operators, from fine dining to crunchy salads at the local ballpark,” said United’s Vice President of Trade Relations Jeff Oberman, liaison to United’s Retail-Foodservice Board. “The summer issue of the Fresh Insights report underscores the many ways that foodservice companies are discovering the value of adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to their menus.”

The concept for the Fresh Insights report was initiated by United’s Retail-Foodservice Board as a resource for United members to gain a comprehensive look at how chefs and restaurants are incorporating fresh produce on their menus.  The report is developed by Datassential, a leading market research firm dedicated to the food Industry, using data from its extensive menu database, MenuTrends.

The publication is organized in four core sections, including Fresh Flavors, which shows in-depth profiles of trending produce items; Menu Intelligence, featuring up-to-date information on how produce is being used in different menu items; Chain Report, which focuses on produce’s role in new menu items; and View From Above, offering a look into produce usage in a particular trend within the foodservice industry.

Fresh Insights for Foodservice is free to United Fresh members and $50 to non-members. To order the report today, visit United’s website. If you have questions, please contact Jeff Obermann at 202-303-3408. For questions about the data or content in this report, contact Maeve Webster, senior director, Datassential at


Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. And, through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption. For more information, visit or call 202-303-3400.

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