Cranberries: America’s Original Superfruit™ are a School Lunch Favorite

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Availability of US-Grown Cranberries and New Recipes Makes Them Easier to Use in Schools

We knew it was our job to make sure that school nutrition professionals had the tools and resources they need to easily incorporate dried cranberries into meals and snacks for students ~ Scott J. Soares, executive director, CMC

The Cranberry Marketing Committee USA announced today that since earning a spot on the USDA Foods Available List for 2014, US-grown dried cranberries have been a big hit on school lunch menus. Seventy-eight percent of foodservice professionals now plan to use more cranberries in dishes such as salads, casseroles, salsas and sandwiches, according to a survey conducted by the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA at the 2014 School Nutrition Association (SNA) Annual National Conference.

Additionally, US-grown cranberries are breaking down barriers to usage via more recipes and greater availability. As America’s Original Superfruit™, cranberries are becoming a school foodservice favorite and including them in meals has only gotten easier.

“The cranberry industry was proud to have dried cranberries added to the USDA Foods Available List in 2014,” explains Scott J. Soares, Executive Director, Cranberry Marketing Committee USA. “In response, we knew it was our job to make sure that school nutrition professionals had the tools and resources they need to easily incorporate dried cranberries into meals and snacks for students.”

To better serve school nutrition professionals, the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA updated their online toolkit, attended national conferences, such as the 2014 SNA Annual National Conference in Boston, Mass., and developed new recipes tailored for schools. Such kid-friendly, foodservice-ready recipes include: Cranzy Chicken Taco, Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad, Razzy Cranberry Grape Gelatin, Cranberry Turkey Picadillo and Cranberry Chicken Salad on Flatbread.

What’s next for cranberries in schools? Soares says that school nutrition professionals have asked for ¼-cup single serving packets of dried cranberries (equal to a ½ cup serving of fruit by the USDA) and looks forward to the USDA responding to these requests.

“The Cranberry Marketing Committee USA is dedicated to helping schools gain greater access to cranberries,” comments Soares. “Thanks to great input from school foodservice professionals, we know that we need to continue to update our Cranberry School Foodservice Toolkit with new information and recipes for school nutrition programs to access and share.”

About the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA (CMC)
The CMC was established as a Federal Marketing Order in 1962 to ensure a stable, orderly supply of good quality product. Authority for its actions are provided under Chapter IX, Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as the Federal Cranberry Marketing Order, which is part of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. This Act specifies cranberries as a commodity that may be covered, regulations that may be issued, guidelines for administering the programs, and privileges and limitations granted by Congress. For more information about the CMC, visit uscranberries.com. Follow at twitter.com/uscranberries and facebook.com/cranbecravers.

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Anna Waclawiczek
@USCranberries
since: 05/2010
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