Produce Predictions

2021 trends made of fruits and vegetables including a light bulb icon

2022 aims to be one of the best years ever for fruit and vegetables, and Markon is doing its part to energize the revolution.

Produce’s ascension to the center of the plate started about five years ago, say industry experts, who maintain that its growth is at an all-time high as consumers aim to eat healthier and more conscientiously. They’re also “better for kitchen budgets,” says Deena Ensworth, Culinary Innovations Director for Markon Cooperative, as rising food costs for most proteins spiral out of control for many operators.

Ensworth and others who professionally observe produce trends predict that 2022 promises to be one of innovation. Yet, as operators continue to face serious labor issues, they must be more creative to maintain loyal guests – who are savvier and more informed than ever about their food.

Over the next few weeks, we will explore some of these trends projected to dominate 2022. From vegetable-centered dishes to more attainable sustainability practices to mindful approaches to global cuisine, these imaginative practices aim to push produce into the forefront. Ensworth as well as Cathy Holley (Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Flavor & The Menu; President, The Flavor Experience), Nicholas Gonring (Corporate Consulting Chef for Gordon Food Service overseeing its North American culinary department), and Ian Ramirez (Director of Culinary Innovation and Operations, Creative Dining Services) offer their insights on what to expect.

“Plant-based eating has undergone a revolution, going from a niche segment to a dominant force in foodservice,” states Ensworth. “And it’s not just about health, it’s also flavor focused. Fresh produce gives chefs such a large range of colors, textures, and flavors to work with; these ingredients give them more options to get creative.”

Get ready for a wealth of knowledge coming your way!

By Audarshia Townsend

About Markon
Markon Cooperative, Inc. brings a fresh approach and thinking to all of its premium farm-to-table produce so foodservice operators can bring the freshest ideas to their consumers. Based in Salinas, California, Markon serves as the produce purchasing, logistics, information, and marketing partner for its five member distributors (Ben E. Keith Foods, Gordon Food Service, Gordon Food Service Canada, Nicholas & Company, and Shamrock Foods) and their North American foodservice customers. Learn more about Markon’s commitment to providing the highest-quality, safest, and freshest produce at Markon.com.

 

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.