Business Insight

Sourcing The Best Of Seasonal Produce

THANKS TO Australia’s size, our country is blessed with a range of different climatic zones, which brings us a broad variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits across a diversity of growing regions.

And as our recent article on food provenance shows, today’s customers are increasingly concerned about where their food ingredients come from — so why not use the abundance of quality Aussie produce to create some seasonal specials and add extra variety to your menu?

“Using quality seasonal produce can give your foodservice business a genuine point of difference which can’t be easily matched by bigger operators, who may not have the flexibility to respond quickly to seasonal fluctuations and make short-term menu additions with minimal planning,” says Perfect Italiano Channel Marketing Manager Kym Gill.

Seasonal menus also give you a fresh point of difference every few months, helping create a sense of exclusivity while also demonstrating a commitment to freshness and quality. Seasonal produce is seen as a better choice in terms of food sustainability and the environment, which many customers will appreciate.

Start by talking to your foodservice distributor about what’s in season and visit your local market or the big fruit and vegie suppliers in your area. Then let your customers know about your fresh seasonal additions via your website, Facebook page, Instagram account or Twitter feed — it’s a great way to generate interest and get more business through your doors!

The autumn months (March to May) bring plenty of vegetables and fruits ideal for pizza and pasta, from tomatoes, eggplants, artichokes, capsicum and spring onions to wild mushroom varieties including Porcini and Slippery Jacks.

Quince and figs — both of which are popular gourmet pizza toppings — are in abundance right now, as is citrus fruit including mandarins, grapefruit, oranges and lemons.

Autumn is also the best time of year for that indispensable pizza ingredient — the olive. You can also find horseradish, celeriac, fennel and kale, all of which are featuring in innovative pizza recipes.

And when it comes to dessert pizzas, you’re spoilt for choice this time of year — with a wide range of fresh seasonal fruit from passionfruit and papaya to nashi, persimmons, pomegranates, strawberries and raspberries, kiwi fruit, mangos and cumquats.

So why not seize the opportunity to broaden your menu, refresh the specials board and let your customers know you are committed to offering them the best and freshest of seasonal local produce!