“Vegetable-centric” cooking and dining are on top of most trends lists for 2017, and retailers must be ready to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables to shoppers seeking to add more produce to their plates. That’s according to Frieda’s Specialty Produce.
“Vegetable-centric eating is finally mainstream, and it’s paving ways for the future of food and produce consumption,” said Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s. “Retailers are embracing this change by expanding the number of vibrantly colored vegetables and providing more produce variety for shoppers.”
Frieda’s identifies four emerging fruit and vegetable trending items for 2017:
With root-to-stem cooking making its way from restaurants to home kitchens, specialty radishes will take center stage as vegetables that can be eaten whole, tops and all. It also doesn’t hurt that the recent episode of Bravo’s “Top Chef Charleston” featured all types of radishes from daikon to French breakfast to watermelon radishes. With their vibrant colors, bright flavors, and nutritious green tops, radishes might just be the next kale.
Cauliflower has been jockeying for “the new kale” position for many years, but with the focus firmly back on purple vegetables, the purple cauliflower might just make it this year. This purple cruciferous vegetable finds itself all over Instagram in gorgeously-arranged vegetable trays and pickle boards. Even food television personality Alton Brown touted cauliflower as the “ingredient of the year” for 2016.
Shoppers also are looking for a variety of squash year-round instead of just in the fall and winter. From soups to grain bowls to spiralized noodles, hard squashes can do it all. They are hearty and nutrient-dense, economical and versatile. No wonder they are becoming the darling of “veg-centric” cooking, with butternut and delicata squashes leading the pack.
Tropical Fruits and Aromatics
Tropical flavors are the key to many rising trends from the tiki cocktail revival to island cuisine. Be ready with shoppers’ favorites like jackfruit, lychees, dragon fruit and starfruits, and make sure to have fresh aromatics on hand like turmeric, ginger and lemongrass.