One of NBC’s most popular reality TV shows has a misleading name: “The Biggest Loser.”
Now entering its fifth season, this program provides 18 strong-willed and hopeful contestants the opportunity to get in shape with challenges, temptations, weigh-ins and eliminations until the final contestant remains to claim the title of “the biggest loser.” In the process, professional trainers provide contestants with approved weight-loss techniques and resources in an effort to help them transform their bodies, health - and ultimately - their lives.
Frozen fruit and vegetable processors have a similar goal: helping consumers improve their health while dining out. In fact, that goal was the focus of the third annual “Produce First! American Menus Initiative” sponsored by Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), Wilmington, Del. Held at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone (Calif.) Campus, the February event drew nearly 100 chefs and culinary executives from chain restaurants, volume foodservice operations and hotels and was meant to inspire and equip them with recipes and ideas for incorporating more fruit and vegetable offerings on the menu.
Said PBH President Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., “Bringing together the foodservice industry’s finest chefs and marketers with fruit and vegetable suppliers is bound to provide new ideas and recipes featuring the incredible flavors and variety of fruits and vegetables - giving their customers more delicious and healthy options.”
One example involves the Subway sandwich chain. According to The Packer, a produce industry publication, this April saw Subway begin a 1,000-store launch of Veggie Roasters, a potato-based offering with carrots, broccoli and other vegetables.
Meanwhile, there is no shortage of new product and menu ideas from suppliers. Simplot Food Group, Boise, Idaho, recently expanded its Simplot Classics Culinary Select fruit-and-vegetable pairings line. Elsewhere, Dole Food Co. targeted easy operator convenience with Dole Smoothie Starters, 7-ounce single-serve smoothie kits with IQF diced, mixed fruit. Varieties include Mixed Berry, Strawberry Banana and Mango Peach.– B.G.
Foodservice fruits & vegetables: Everybody wins
June 30, 2008