Blueberries are a breakfast and dessert menu classic, often featured in anything from pancakes and muffins to pies and cobblers. But this superfood is a star on savory menu items as well, from sauces to seafood to even salads.
According to Technomic’s 2016 Left Side of the Menu: Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite, 29% of consumers would consider adding berries as a topping to their salad. And thanks to their nutrient-rich superfood status, blueberries are increasingly being incorporated into mouthwatering appetizers and entrees.
A healthy boost to the bottom line
Blueberries are known for being high in antioxidants, which makes them a ripe opportunity for operators. Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report found that 73% of consumers think that foods high in antioxidants are slightly or much more healthy, and that 33% of consumers are more likely to buy and are willing to pay more for items that are high in antioxidants, so operators who want to cater to the health-conscious crowd are in luck with this fruit.
Emerging savory flavors
Blueberries in savory applications are not the norm for most consumers, but many diners are open to trying new flavors. In Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report, 62% of consumers say they like trying new flavors of food from time to time.
Here are some ways that operators are incorporating blueberries in savory dishes:
- Il Bacco Ristorante, an upscale casual-dining restaurant in Flushing, N.Y., serves Tagliata di Manzo, a dish of sliced steak, rosemary, blueberry and sea salt.
- The Blueberry Pesto Sandwich at Modern Market, a fast-casual chain with locations in Colorado and Texas, features fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula, basil peso, blueberries and balsamic jam on ciabatta bread.
- For blueberries in a fine-dining setting, Croce’s in San Diego offers up its Two Seared Sea Scallops dish, including a chilled soba noodle salad, blueberry gastrique and Sriracha-roasted peanuts.
- Diners can dive into the Superfood Salad at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, a casual-dining chain with locations across the country. This salad features a number of superfoods and is composed of baby kale, romaine lettuce, Peruvian quinoa, sliced apples, fresh blueberries, crunchy jicama, sweet corn, asparagus, diced cucumber and tomatoes, and is dressed with apple vinaigrette.
This post is sponsored by The Blueberry Council