Incorporating healthy food into your business
Problems and solutions for fruit and fruit-based products investment.
Thanks to a growing worldwide interest in veganism, free-from foods and healthy eating, restaurants all over the world are now keeping up with the demand for vegetable and fruit -based products by incorporating them into their menus. However, investing in healthy trends can be risky for multiple reasons: how do you satisfy the market demand of natural produced-based items while keeping the quality high and still raking in profit?
Below we discuss some common problems as well as solutions when investing in fruit and vegetable based products.
1. Price fluctuation
To preserve quality and keep it fresh, some restaurants create their own dishes from raw fruits and vegetables, such as juices, salads, dips and more. This is a well-respected practice that yields high quality products, but at a cost; the price of fruits and vegetables fluctuates nearly every day due to several reasons: weather and temperature, pests and disease, political and economic situations, seasons, among others. These factors make it hard to track whether is a good time to purchase certain fruit or vegetable, and difficult to plan a stable price and quality supply throughout the year.
2. Time and costs
Additional to the instability of the prices and quality, when it comes to a food service businesses preparation time is crucial.
3. Cleaning and waste
The manual labor also involves cleaning the workspace and utensils afterwards, which may require an additional employee, since the do-it-yourself method generates a large amount of waste. When creating juices from raw fruit, 60-70% of the product (peels, residue, unused juice, etc.) goes to waste according to studies. Creating a popular dip like guacamole from raw avocados has a waste of over 50% of the fruit.
4. Shelf life
Another common problem when working with raw fruit and vegetables is how to prevent spoilage. The most common method is slow freezing, which preserves the fruit for some extra days sacrificing the freshness and flavor. Some fruits such as Avocado will brown in a couple of days as a result of high ethylene emission and sensitivity.
5. Processed products – Sacrificing quality
In order to save on time and money, another option is to buy typical prepared and processed products. However, quality is often sacrificed in this method. Cheap, processed foods are often riddled with added sugars, preservatives, coloring, artificial flavors, and more. These ingredients are unhealthy and alter the taste of the product, as their fruit or vegetable component is low, and made from concentrate.
Considering the above, an innovative solution to serving fruit and vegetables based items, while maintaining the quality and lowering the price and time involved, is to invest in natural prepared products. It is often assumed such products are much more expensive than raw ingredients or typical processed products. However, latest technologies are allowing natural products to reach the food service industry for just a few more cents. One of them is High Pressure Processing (HPP, This cold pressure technique preserves the taste, structure and vitamins of the product, while killing bacteria and microorganisms. At the same time, the shelf life of the product is increased substantially, lasting in some cases over 90 days refrigerated. Learn more about HPP here.
Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) is another good option to providing healthy food; this process preserves the taste and quality of products by freezing quickly each piece of food (like a dice of avocado or mango), the small ice crystals formed do not harm the product. In conventional slow freezing, large ice crystals damage the fibers of the food. A bag of IQF avocado dices lasts 2 years frozen, with no browning.
These processing technologies are now well spread around the industry, making natural prepared products the best solution when investing in healthy food. Avoiding the common problems businesses encounter with raw fruit, it has a yearly stable pricing and is ready-to-serve, while maintaining the natural flavor and properties of the fruits and vegetables.