Berries are finding their way into more recipes, especially in the foodservice arena.

“People are really starting to look outside the standard berry pancakes,” said Kyla Garnett, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla.

Chloe Varennes, marketing manager for Gourmet Trading Co., Redondo Beach, Calif., agreed that berries are seeing some new uses in restaurants.

“The two trends with blueberries in foodservice are savory dishes and mixology,” she said.

Savory thoughts, cocktails

Varennes said chefs are starting to use blueberries outside the traditional dessert menu.

“Instead of being added to sweets and desserts, the foodservice industry is starting to focus on blueberries in savory dishes for a sweet and salty contrast,” she said.

The demand for creative, trendy new drink recipes also is increasing the use of blueberries in upscale restaurants.

“Blueberries are also being added to cocktails in foodservice. Hand-muddled drinks are gaining popularity,” Varennes said.

Home cook inspiration

As with other produce items, the use of berries in gourmet or trendy restaurants is likely to affect the use of these berries by home cooks.

Garnett said the overall trend for chefs to be more aware of using fresh fruits and vegetables has helped increase the trend for more fresh berries on menus.

“There is a growing trend of popularity for that side of foodservice,” Garnett said.