Win the Kids’ Menu with This Healthy Low-Labor Option

Jaime E. Love

It’s no surprise that consumers are growing more and more health conscious and have been for years. At the drive thru or the takeout counter, they’re looking for alternatives to the fried options they can find anywhere. And if they’re parents, the search gets harder—they need menu items with better nutrition that their kids will love. 

The pandemic has only made these demands more urgent. Quick-service restaurants have long been a mainstay for busy families, and today, it’s not uncommon to see families relying on them even more. 

“Let’s look at it this way,” says Todd Michael, senior director of foodservice sales at Knouse Foods. “We’re all ordering more takeout, whether that’s through GrubHub, DoorDash—whatever. The sides are always french fries or some other starch. As a parent, you get tired of that. You feel like, ‘Hey, I need to offer my kids something more healthy.’” 

The challenge for parents has become finding quick nutritious options that they’ll feel good about serving to their kids on a regular basis. 

In fact, it’s not just families. A Datassential report from May 2021 found that 87 percent of consumers consider their health and well-being when making a food purchase. Adults are also thinking about their own health when they look at a menu. Nutritious menu options can be surprisingly hard to find in the quick-service space, but those options are a clear win when it comes to any consumer category—as well as a restaurant’s bottom line.

Of course, if a healthy item is going to succeed on a menu, diners have to enjoy it. Musselman’s Apple Sauce, for example, is a healthier alternative to starchy fried options that kids will still enjoy. Produced by Knouse Foods, a grower-owned cooperative of family farms, the product comes in ready-to-eat packaging like cups and pouches, as well as plastic multi-serve jars.

“This is something that isn’t just healthier, but kids love the taste,” Michael says. “We hear feedback all the time, that is, ‘We love your product because of the flavors. It’s high-quality, it tastes great, and it’s easily digestible.’” 

Thanks to the product’s portability, on-the-go families can rely on Musselman’s Apple Sauce as a healthy option for all types of occasions. 

“Say you’re in between games at a youth recreational tournament, and maybe you only have an hour so you need to hit the drive thru,” Michael says. “Should kids really be eating those fries in between games? You gotta play in another hour. So parents want something more nutritious for their kids. Applesauce helps with digestion.”

The pouches and cups alike make for a contactless experience from the factory to the consumer—an advantage when it comes to addressing food safety concerns that have skyrocketed during the pandemic. The unique packaging also requires zero prep time, which helps keep labor costs low.

“You think of a healthy, cost-efficient food product, that’s one thing that we have,” says Kevin Blacker, director of marketing at Knouse Foods. “Meat prices have skyrocketed; all these other categories seem to have done the same. Everything’s going up. But when you’re looking for a healthy alternative that tastes great and doesn’t take any time for your team to prepare, we have a lower-priced item compared to other categories out there.” 

To understand more about energizing your healthy menu options with Musselman’s Apple Sauce, visit the company’s website.

By Kara Phelps

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