With growing consumer interest, Brussels sprouts are making their way onto world-class menus and family dinner tables at last. Once considered an unglamorous vegetable, Brussels sprouts are now a “hot ingredient” being used by chefs on popular television shows and in restaurants. As a result of their high-profile exposure, consumers are gaining expert knowledge of how to select and prepare Brussels sprouts, making home chefs reconsider their predisposed views from childhood.
According to a recent article posted on Produce Retailer’s website, senior marketing manager for California-based Green Giant Fresh Mishalin Modena attributes the surge in Brussels sprout sales to well-known chefs’ new-found creativity for the vegetable.
“Chefs are being more adventurous and finding new flavor in these vegetables that some consumers might have considered unexciting,” Modena was quoted as saying.
Grocery store buyers can expect an impact in their sales thanks to Brussels sprouts’ resurgence in the food and beverage industry as well. With regards to one of the latest trends, shredding or chopping the vegetable in salads, consumers will continue their demand for the item during summer months.
“Seven or eight years ago, Brussels sprouts used to be just a cooking item which had more popularity in winter, but we've seen an increase in summer sales,” said Russ Widerburg, sales manager at Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, CA., as reported by Produce Retailer.
Other trends making their way from professional kitchens to personal ones are sautéing, roasting and grilling Brussels sprouts as well as serving them as a seasoned side dish, cut in halves or quarters.
In light of the growing trend, companies such as Green Giant Fresh and others have upgraded Brussels sprouts packaging. By using high-graphic bags that pop off the shelf, sales have surged even higher for suppliers.
So what’s next for the industry? Butch Corda, general manager of Ippolito International LP, Salinas, Calif., expects and suggests suppliers will start offering chopped versions to consumers. This will allow companies to embrace restaurant-influenced trends and keep sales up during summer months.
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