In The News

Foodservice continues upward trend, companies say

Foodservice accounts for a large part of the business for many produce grower-shippers and seems to be inching upward as consumers ramp up their efforts to eat healthfully.

“We are experiencing slow, modest growth with our foodservice partners and relying on product innovation and service to drive new sales and demand,” said Jeff Church, vice president of sales for Church Brothers LLC, Salinas, Calif.

The foodservice channel represents more than 70% of annual business for Church Brothers, said Kori Tuggle, vice president of marketing.

Fresh-cut, value-added vegetables and salad ingredients are the company’s main movers.

“The staple items, such as a shredded iceberg lettuce or chopped romaine, are still steady in demand,” Tuggle said.

Foodservice operators use staple fresh-cut salad ingredients such as iceberg or romaine lettuce as a base to create custom salads and are “mixing in back-of-house with other trending salad components such as kale,” she said.

Foodservice business continues to drive the value-added division of Boskovich Farms, Oxnard, Calif., said Mike O’Leary, vice president of sales and marketing for the fresh-cut division.

“We continue to realize growth on items that Boskovich Farms has long been associated with,” he said, including spinach, cilantro, parsley, kale and green onions.

“Salads continue to move to center of plate (for) many consumers,” he said. “We are anticipating continued growth in traditional and leafy green salad offerings.”

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