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Valentine’s Day Opportunities

cheese plate with heart shape cheese, fruits and delicatessen, decorated with edible flowers

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest foodservice holidays. Unlike other more group-oriented celebrations that might lose traffic from at-home parties, this holiday is all about splurging and treating that special someone to over-the-top, romantic meals in their favorite restaurants.

  • Appetizers. Offer a variety of finger foods and luscious dips that pop with color and burst with flavor. Think gooey eggplant with ruby pomegranate seeds and syrup, creamy deviled eggs made pink with beets, and charred Shishito peppers stuffed with pimiento cheese.
  • Salads. Accent healthy greens with the vibrant pink and red shades in watermelon radishes, apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, beets, red bell peppers, and red potatoes.
  • Sides. Drizzle hot honey over roasted vegetables such as baby carrots and beets or decadent Bernaise sauce over asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or green beans.
  • Desserts. Showcase this course with colors (crimsons) and shapes (hearts) that signify love. Go traditional with scarlet berries or be unique with red currant berries, blood oranges, or rhubarb.
  • Beverages. Whether it’s Champagne, mixed drinks, or mocktails, the drinks category is a major opportunity on this holiday. Offer specials that are highlight juices, fruits, vegetables, and herbs.


  • Appetizers: MFC Red Bell Peppers, MFC Tomatoes, MFC Red Seedless Grapes, MFC Mushrooms, endive, figs, cherries, and MFC Shishito Peppers
  • Salads: MFC Artisan Romaine, RSS Bistro Butter Blend, RSS Baby Spinach, MFC Red Potatoes, beets, and watermelon radishes
  • Sides: RSS Baby Carrots, RSS Brussels Sprouts, RSS Trimmed Green Beans, MFC Asparagus, MFC Eggplant, and purple cauliflower
  • Desserts: MFC Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, RSS Pineapple Chunks, RSS Orange Sections, RSS Grapefruit Sections, MFC Apples, MFC Pears, and MFC Mint
  • Beverages: RSS Juices (Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Oranges, Lemonade, and Margarita Mix), pomegranate seeds, and dragon fruit.

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.