Picked at the peak of ripeness, red raspberries grown for processing are frozen within hours of harvest to capture the fruit’s sensory and nutrient integrity. The familiar and beloved red raspberry offers unique opportunities for bakers and other food manufacturers to add visual interest, sweet-tart flavor, superior nutrition profile and an overall premium in baked goods and snacks.
In a consumer attitude and usage study among 758 primary grocery shoppers conducted by the National Processed Raspberry Council (NPRC) in late 2014, respondents specifically mentioned liking the flavor of red raspberries. Four-fifths wished they could find more food items in the grocery story that are made with raspberries. Muffins and ice cream are the two items mentioned most often, but there is also a desire for more raspberry-rich salad dressings, jams, cakes, pies, cookies, salads, desserts and sauces. In a call to action, 59 percent of those surveyed responded they are very or extremely likely to purchase packaged and fresh baked good with raspberries.
Interest in health-and-wellness increasingly drives consumer purchase. Red raspberries are one of the lowest in natural sugars compared to other berries, deliver more fiber than any other berry (9 grams per cup, or 36 percent of the Daily Value) and are an excellent source of vitamin C (USDA Nutrient Database SR27, June 2015).
To meet consumer demand, food manufacturers can choose from a variety of processed raspberry formats, including individually quick-frozen (IQF) whole berries, crumbles, purée and concentrate, making red raspberries a go-to fruit for product development.
For breakfast or all-day snacking, this recipe combines the upscale appeal of red raspberry with popular pumpkin spice. Dropping unthawed IQF berries on top of the batter before baking helps retain the berry’s shape for eye appeal and adds a flavor punch.