Director of Retail Operations
University of Oklahoma
“‘The Best Date Ever’ is a wrap we make with a mixture of organic peanut butter, honey, bananas and chopped dates. It comes on a whole wheat wrap, a plain wrap, or a tef wrap that's gluten free.
“The wrap is one of the menu items at the new restaurant called The Laughing Tomato that we're opening at the Memorial Union. This week is supposed to be the ‘soft opening,’ but judging from the line out there, I don't know how soft it's going to be!
“A nutritionist on campus had tried this wrap somewhere else, and we wanted to try it, because we want to go for healthier, natural food. We did a series of taste tests, and ‘The Best Date Ever’ wrap was the winner every time. People would ask, ‘Do you have any extra of those?’”
Director of Food and Nutrition Services
Bloomington, IL Public School District
“The kids especially love cherries as a finger food. We use them frozen and some dried. We put them in granola, and use them when we have a grab ‘n go yogurt for lunch.
“At the high school level, we mix fruit into a chicken salad. This fall I'd like to try a fruit salsa that could go with a Southwest salad, or with chicken or just with baked chips.
“Consumption of fruit is up because we are doing a better job now at making it look nicer. That is very important. The advantage of fruit is that it's naturally pretty. We use square black containers to make the colors pop.
“We leave the peels on a lot of things. For kiwis, we leave the skin on and kids scoop them out. The same thing with melons. Leaving the skin on cuts labor costs and it also improves the fruit's appearance.”
Vice President of Product Development
ARAMARK Healthcare, Food Service
“Earlier this year, we implemented the Colors of Summer, a season-long promotional campaign featuring fruits and vegetables that are in season — and local, when possible.
“The idea of ‘plating the season’ is great for operators, in terms of cost, but also great for customers, because fresh, seasonal produce tastes better.
“Our unit operators got lots of signage and graphics that they could use to connect the customer to health and wellness concepts like, ‘Why should I be eating blueberries?’ for example.
“We tend to think of blueberries, strawberries and watermelon, as an eat-alone thing, where you just cut it up and eat it. But we have some great recipes. There's a salad with watermelon and feta cheese, and a grilled pound cake with a blueberry topping.”