One of the tasks of every good restaurateur is to analyze and be attentive to the tastes and preferences of consumers. This type of study allows you to innovate and adapt the menu to the new reality, besides improving customer satisfaction. In this sense, it is important to bear in mind that the trend of consumption of fresh products is gaining strength, and has been accentuated by COVID-19, reducing interest in processed products.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when in the United States the term “fresh” is used on the label of a food, implies that the food is unprocessed. It means that the food is in its raw state and has not been frozen, or subjected to any form of thermal processing or any other form of preservation (except as provided in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21). It also indicates that the term “fresh frozen” is used on the label of a food that was quickly frozen while it was still fresh.
The Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC) held the conference Fresh products after COVID and the challenge of innovation, concluding that their consumption has increased. In addition, Luciano López Jáuregui, master in Bromatology and Food Technology, director of Research, Development and Quality of Molinos Río de la Plata, highlights the trend of acquiring foods rich in nutrients to strengthen the immune system.
In this sense, it is appropriate to adapt the menu of your restaurant according to the tastes of the diners. For this reason, we have drawn up a list of recommendations regarding consumer preferences for fresh products:
- Meats: among the most popular meat products are pork, chicken and beef.
- Fish: sea bass or branzino, dorado and seabream are the most requested.
- Fruits: the taste of the clients is in favor of citrus fruits such as mandarins, orange, passion fruit, strawberry and lemon. This tendency is due to the high contribution of vitamin C, which serves to increase the body’s defenses.
- Vegetables: diners are choosing to consume foods that strengthen their immune system and are rich in antioxidant nutrients that contribute to strengthening their health. In this sense, they direct their consumption towards those dishes that contain legumes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, garlic, onion, cauliflower, celery, malanga or ocumo, cucumber and eggplants.
When purchasing these ingredients for your recipes, we recommend that you prefer fresh local products. In the specific case of fruits and vegetables, the ideal is to incorporate those that are seasonal, in this way you will use fresher, cheaper and more sustainable ingredients, benefiting the national economy and local producers.
Also keep in mind to include cereals in the recipes of your dishes because, although they are not classified as fresh products, they are a source of nutrients in high demand and appreciated by diners. For example, in your restaurant you could offer delicious arepas made with P.A.N., its versatility allows you to combine it with fresh products. If you intervene the arepa dough with carrots and then stuffed it with shredded chicken, you will be offering a perfect dish with fresh products and with all the benefits of corn. You can also include natural juices in the drinks menu.
At the same time, it is essential to emphasize the following measures, given the situation generated by COVID-19:
- Continue with the implementation of a hygiene and cleaning policy in your food business that may make guests feel safe.
- Have some suppliers that guarantee hygiene and neatness in the handling of food that allow you to restock the inventory of fresh products periodically and safely.
- Take into account the safety regulations established by the government and health authorities of your jurisdiction.
- Handle fresh products in accordance with sanitary recommendations that guarantee their freshness and conservation.
In conclusion, it is important that restaurateurs take into consideration that diners’ consumption trends are oriented towards everything that strengthens their health and provides the highest degree of well-being. Likewise, fresh local products allow to benefit the economy and national producers, and their consumption means savings, because their costs will be free from the payment of import taxes.