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More Diners Looking for Fresh Menu Items

<p>Freshness is becoming a diners preference, with an increased demand for fresh fruit year round, according to a new study from Datassential.</p>

SAN CARLOS, Calif.Freshness is becoming a diners preference, with an increased demand for fresh fruit year round, according to a new study from Datassential.

Consumers are craving a healthier diet when dining out making "local" and "seasonal" menu buzzwords. Data pulled from 4,800 U.S. restaurantssplit between national and regional chains, and independentsshowed that three-fourths of restaurants are offering at least one fruit item, with nearly 8% of all dishes featuring at least one fruit ingredient.  

From 2009 to 2013, fruit has grown in menu penetration across nearly all segments. Whole fresh fruit has become the most commonly purchased format, and fresh" is the key descriptor, appearing on more menus than seasonal, organic or local. The survey also presented avocados, lemons, oranges and apples appearing on more than one-fourth of U.S. menus.

Organizations like Chilean Fresh Fruit Association are on board and ready to grow with the "fresh" trend.

Chefs know how much appeal fresh fruit brings to the table, and so do their patrons," said Karen Brux, managing director, Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, North America. Chile fills in the gaps to ensure supplies of fresh fruit when domestic fruits are out of season. Thats why we work closely with our growers and exporters to ensure that fresh fruit from Chile is high in quality and as convenient, consistent and reliable as possible."

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