Operators need help right now, and ready-made products offer a solution.

As diners become more educated about healthy foods and sanitary practices as a result of the pandemic, it falls on operators to deliver on-trend food, with a healthy twist, in a safe fashion. In fact, according to Datassential, 81 percent of diners say they plan on being more vigilant about food safety in the future.

“As the pandemic continues, diners are seeking credible, trustworthy food sources,” says Todd Montazzoli, marketing director for T. Marzetti’s foodservice division. “Even as dining and other restrictions lift, everything else takes a back seat to safety.”

To complicate the situation further, Datassential reported in July that 63 percent of operators have had to reduce staff due to COVID-19, with almost half of that number saying they plan on operating into the future with fewer staff members.

That means products that help reduce labor without sacrificing on taste, or safety, are going to be pivotal for the months and years to come. Portion controlled, ready-made dressings have become a great way to deliver a signature salad with zero added labor. The portion-controlled cups also feel safe to diners, and are ideal for the increase in takeout and delivery that’s happening industry-wide.

“T. Marzetti products are highly trusted,” says Sandy Bischel, director of research and development for T. Marzetti’s foodservice division. “In an operator survey we conducted in August 2020, 51 percent of operators associate ‘high quality’ with Marzetti products, while 47 percent associate our products with ‘labor savings.’”

Another reason Bischel and Montazzoli tout T. Marzetti’s dressings is that they help operators stay on-trend in the face of a whirlwind of diner preferences. For example, Datassential reported that in February 2019, 44 percent of diners said they consumed ranch dressing at least once a week. While ranch’s popularity remains unquestioned, other diners are looking for a dressing that is a bit lighter, and those tastes can change seasonally, says Bischel.

“Right now, consumers want comfort food that makes them feel safe, and reminds them of what they like and makes them happy,” Bischel says. “But they also want new ideas with flavors and concepts that take them on a journey. Right now—with travel shut down—that might be the only way to enjoy flavors from around the world.”

T. Marzetti’s lineup includes standout flavors like Apple Vinaigrette, Asian Sesame Vinaigrette, Chipotle Ranch Dressing, and Pomegranate Vinaigrette. The brand also offers clean label products—something that, according to Datassential, 59 percent of diners say they will pay a premium for.

 “As a trusted company that has been in business for over 150 years, we take great care to provide the safest, highest quality products,” says Montazzoli. “Operators can trust that our products will put diners’ concerns at ease.”

To find out more about how to add signature salad dressings and cut down on labor, visit marzettifoodservice.com.

By Charlie Pogacar

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