Blueberries’ Role in the Restaurant of the Future

The impacts of COVID-19 were felt in nearly every industry, but few more acutely and suddenly than the restaurant industry. Across the world, foodservice had to quickly adapt to a world that was ordering take-out food as restaurants sat empty. But with every crisis comes an opportunity to adapt and innovate, which is where the “Restaurant of the Future” comes in. On today’s episode, we have a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the foodservice industry and what comes next as the world emerges from a pandemic. 

Hosts Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), is joined by Jeremy Kay, head of design at USHBC foodservice agency partner Sterling-Rice Group (SRG), and Tamra Scroggins, executive chef & director of culinary at Grill Concepts.

“We really had to take a step back to move forward . … I firmly believe that we are in this era now of rapid change and we will see things coming out of this pandemic that will change the way we service restaurants and how we engage in this space forever.” – Jeremy Kay

“[Blueberries] fit so well in so many things — you can put them in a savory dish, you can put them in a sweet dish, you can do both a sweet and savory dish. I think they’re pretty versatile and they’re just got an awesome color. I don’t think it’s a trend — I think people will shift toward eating healthier, being healthier and eating things that are healthy for them.” – Tamra Scroggins

Watch the Restaurant of the Future video below.

Topics covered include: 

  • What to expect from restaurants as we come out of the pandemic. 
  • How restaurants changed their business models. 
  • Engaging civic leaders on keeping outdoor dining environments. 
  • How the pandemic inspired health-conscious restaurant menus and how blueberries are used on these menus. 
  • SRG and USHBC’s “Restaurant of the Future.”  


Crop Report

The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout North and South America. In this episode, you’ll hear from Juan Soria Morales in Mexico and Andres Armstrong in Chile. This was recorded on March 17, 2021.