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Flavor Trend

Produce providers, prepare your cylindrical veggies. A new trend is on the scene that seeks to make any produce that can be pushed through a grater the star of dishes formerly noodle-based and beyond.

It’s called spiralizing, and it’s a value-added coming to the produce aisle that looks like it should be in with the pastas. Del Monte Fresh, Explore Cuisine, Veggie Noodle Co., and House Foods–all of whom have recently come out with vegetable products that consumers can use in formerly deli-fueled dishes–are amongst the key names picking up on consumer demand for these lighter, healthier noodles.

I, for one, feel less weighed down after stuffing myself with a shrimp scampi poured over zucchini noodles rather than the traditional pasta. And I am far from alone. A number of blogs tout the ease and benefits of substituting vegetables in for traditional noodles, offering a twist to traditional dishes that could see consumers clamoring for a new segment in our industry healthy but convenient alternatives to keep home meals tasty.

Now, value-added cucumbers, zucchini, squash, and more are becoming the foundation of both ordinary and out-of-the-box recipes served at any time of day. And the trend is pushing conventional produce as well: Any spiralizer from a turn-key to hand-held style grates standard produce into noodles in seconds, with little maintenance or expense on the consumer-side.

As for foodservice providers, I have no issue seeing this making its way to menus. As restaurant-goers seek healthy options to order, as well as those who abstain from or have an intolerance to wheat-based products, it’s easy to believe companies in fresh will supply the restaurant sector with veggie noodle items.

Be it a produce-based noodle salad, an experimental strudel, a pasta, or a dish of a chef or consumer’s own creation, I, for one, can’t wait to see where this latest veggie spin takes fresh produce.