3 Reasons Applesauce is the Answer for QSR

Photograph: Shutterstock

By now, we’re all well aware of the challenges facing today’s foodservice industry. Customers continue to prefer off-premise dining, and operators have had to completely rethink how to delight guests while adhering to numerous, ever-changing safety guidelines. In many cases, it has led to reduced staff, increased costs and uncertainty regarding the best path forward.

For operators, making adjustments and finding efficiencies can have a huge impact on their ability to thrive today and in a post-COVID tomorrow. Believe it or not, that’s exactly where applesauce comes in. Single-serve applesauce, like Musselman’s® cups or pouches, can help alleviate the stresses that come with less staff, an unprecedented emphasis on food safety and varied customer preferences.

Here are three common QSR operator questions, each of which has a very appetizing answer.

1. Are there any sides that can actually reduce labor?

80% of restaurants have had to make staff cuts during the pandemic, according to Datassential. This means operators need to be more efficient than ever with their labor. Sides like fries, onion rings, tater tots and even salads require on-premise cooking, prepping and packaging. But with single-serve applesauce, the work is already done. A staff member simply has to grab the cup or pouch, place it in a bag or on a tray and move on to their next task. This can significantly cut down on the labor required for each meal, helping add valuable back-of-house efficiencies. This quick and easy process also requires substantially less contact than other sides, adding to extra confidence around food safety.

2. What menu items are optimal for this off-premise world?

According to Datassential, 86% of operators currently offer take-out and 58% offer delivery. Such trends play perfectly into the strengths of applesauce cups and pouches. Guests don’t have to worry about applesauce cooling down or losing its taste appeal as their meal is transported or enjoyed on-the-go. They’ll also take comfort in the peace of mind that comes with individually wrapped items. In fact, Datassential reports 42% of consumers say that for them to feel safe dining out, everything should be individually wrapped. This is up from 33% in March of 2020.  With such indicators showing that the demand for sealed products is here for the long-term, operators can trust that pre-packaged applesauce is a side with longevity.

Another significant factor is applesauce’s wide appeal from a nutritional standpoint, especially as more parents seek natural, healthy sides for their kids. Products like Musselman’s® Squeezables pouches give them a mess-free, utensil-free option.

3. How can I reduce waste and spoilage?

The FDA notes that food waste in the United States is estimated to be 30-40% of the food supply. This staggering statistic has substantial impact on our environment, not to mention the bottom lines of restaurants. For this reason, applesauce is a great substitute for fresh fruit, as it provides a delicious, wholesome choice with a two-year shelf-life and virtually no waste.

Todd Michael, Director of Food Service Division at Knouse Foods, notes the impact that switching to applesauce made on one of his customer’s waste reduction goals:

“A quick-serve brand that we work with was assuming 40% waste on their fresh fruit. They reached out to us because they wanted to reduce waste and spoilage, and now they have zero waste since they’ve begun menuing single-serve apple sauce.”

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of adding this versatile product to your menu, visit




COVID-19 Report 45: Waiting Game, Datassential, February 2021.

COVID-19 Report 46: Trending Upward, Datassential, February 2021.

Food Loss and Waste, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, February 2021.

This post is sponsored by Knouse Foodservice


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