Fresh vs. Frozen: What Saves You More in the Kitchen?
Jun 19, 2020
Today's restaurant diners want it all—fresher food but hold down the price. Kitchen prep of all that fresh food will always be a mainstay in your labor costs, but how to keep up that quality while holding down your costs?
Frozen food products actually increase the options for variety on your menu while cutting cost. Even better, you get high quality along with tremendous consistency you can count on.
If you think fresh is always cheaper than frozen, think again
In our own comparative studies, fresh users end up paying more by the pound than frozen after accounting for labor, trim and spoilage. And the rise of labor costs shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.
Variety, quality, nutrition in frozen vegetables? Yes!
There's a tremendous variety in options for frozen foods you can use in recipes as well as direct serve. Here are some ideas:
- Roasted items. Roasted vegetables and fruits are some of the most difficult items to cook consistently day in, day out, especially across different locations. It's also time-consuming and costly. With Simplot RoastWorks™ Roasted Vegetables and Fruits, you get consistent sizing, seasoning and roasting, bag after bag, just heat and serve.
- Ancient grain blends. Each individual grain in a blend has its own optimal cooking time, making it more complex and time-consuming to prep. In frozen blends like Simplot Good Grains™ Ancient Grains & Kale, each element is perfectly cooked on its own then blended with the others, so all you have to do is heat and serve to get perfectly consistent quality every time.
- Items used as ingredients in recipes. A lot of fresh produce ends up as ingredients in dishes like soups and casseroles where any difference between fresh and frozen is imperceptible, not a good use of your labor dollars. This is one way Simplot Simple Goodness™ peas, corn, carrots, beans, asparagus, broccoli and others shine.
- Items that are difficult or dangerous to cut. Things like fresh mango are time-consuming and challenging to process with a knife, especially for low-skilled labor. The prep for frozen products is as simple (and safe) as heat and serve, or in the case of Simplot Simple Goodness™ IQF Mango Cubes, thaw and serve.
- Avocados! The yield on many fresh fruits and vegetables is less than 50% after trim and spoilage. That effectively doubles their market price. Add in the cost of labor to process and it's even more expensive. Products like Simplot Harvest Fresh Avocados™ can save you money and provide consistent quality regardless of season.
If quality concerns are still holding you back, here are some things to consider:
- 100% all-natural, with no preservatives. Freezing has always been a natural way to preserve the best qualities of food, without artificial ingredients or preservatives.
- Simplot frozen vegetables and fruit are processed and flash frozen quickly after harvest. Compare that to fresh produce that may spend weeks in the supply chain before arriving at your back door.
- Color and texture have improved dramatically. In most cases, you'll be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the color and texture of fresh vs. frozen. See for yourself.
- Frozen is at least as nutritious as fresh. Research has shown frozen products have the same or better nutritional value as fresh products whose nutritional value declines within a couple of days after harvest.1, 2
Bottom line: Cut labor and produce costs, improve variety and maintain quality with frozen foods
Frozen products come pre-cut (sometimes pre-seasoned and/or pre-roasted too) with simple, heat-and-serve prep. This gives you the freedom to do more with a reduced staff or focus your staff on activities with a better bang for your labor dollar.
Let us show you how to reduce your labor with a FREE evaluation
Simplot offers a broad portfolio of labor-saving frozen potatoes, vegetables, fruit, grains and avocado products. One of the best ways to find out where frozen is right for you is to request FREE samples of our products. Our experienced representatives can also evaluate your menu and help you pinpoint where frozen substitutions make the most dollars and sense.