ToP, leFT To riGh T: Kids Tropical Twist from Juice it up, Kids Green monster
smoothie from Juice it up
RESTAURANT REACH quick-serve gets healthy
Bowl. The Pitaya Passion Bowl features raw organic pitaya,
passion fruit juice blend, soy milk, strawberries and bananas
topped with organic omega- 3 granola, strawberries, blueberries
Two years ago, Juice It Up launched smoothie bowls—
smoothies with less liquid and more frozen fruit to make them
“scoopable,” Burgess says. Organic granola and fresh fruit and
honey are added on top. Green options also are available, with
fresh kale and spinach blended in for the health and fiber kick.
Burgess has noticed a big consumer push for added protein in
the past two years. “So we are offering a few more natural protein
options like almond milk, soy milk and peanuts,” he says. Whey
protein powder is another mix-in option. “Sales of whey protein
powder are up almost 200% in the past year,” he adds. The success
is likely aided by the fact that the chain has successively centered
a few promotions around proteins.
the breakfast and beverage frontiers
Low-calorie beverages and convenient, healthy breakfast
options have become areas of consumer interest lately, says
Chick-fil-A’s Farmer. At the same time as it test-launched the
Harvest Kale & Grain Bowl, the chain also began testing the
Egg White Grill Grain Bowl in a few restaurants. The breakfast
entree includes the same grain blend of red quinoa, white quinoa
and farro, along with scrambled egg whites, grilled chicken and
a Monterey jack/cheddar cheese blend.
Farmer first caught wind of the desire for more-healthful
breakfast options when the chain relaunched its chicken lineup
in 2014 and added the Egg White Grill to the breakfast menu,
described as a “breakfast portion of grilled chicken with a hint of
citrus flavor, stacked with freshly grilled egg whites and Ameri-
can cheese, served on a toasted multigrain English muffin.” In less
than two months on the menu, “I could see it struck a chord with
our guests. They are excited, looking for more options for healthy
breakfast,” he says. The breakfast bowl targets those interested in
moving away from some of the grains, bread and carbs, he adds.
Kruse also notices a move by fast-food chains toward
healthy bowls. “McDonald’s, for example, is testing breakfast
bowls, including an option made with turkey sausage and kale
that clocks in at a mere 250 calories, a number that will look
great up on the menu board,” she says.
Chick-fil-A bets that consumers looking for convenience and
BFY would be interested in a breakfast beverage that serves as
a meal-replacement drink. So, it may soon start competing with
smoothie outlets with the nutrient-dense Berry Protein Blend it
also just test-launched. It’s made with chia seeds, ancient grains,
mixed berries and yogurt handspun with a small portion of
Chick-fil-A’s signature Icedream® and topped with honey/brown
sugar granola. It has 340 calories with 23 grams of protein.
To demonstrate BFY in print, quick-serve restaurants ratcheted-up menu mentions of gluten-free 26% between Q1 2015 and Q1
2016, says Bryant with Mintel. The use of “light” as a nutrition
claim has risen 19% during the same time, while “fat-free” is up
by 12%. Healthful beverages are certainly a growth category.
Some 25% of consumers report drinking fewer carbonated soft
drinks when dining out in general, he adds.
“The race is on for ‘better’ sugar, as the plummet in sales of
both conventional and diet soft drinks continues,” says Kruse.
“To salve their consciences and consume what they really want
to anyway, more diners will opt for beverages made with organic
and/or Fair Trade and/or GMO-free sugar. PepsiCo has been
especially active in this regard, as with the introduction of its
1893 Craft Soda line.”
JODY SHee, AN OLA THe, KANSAS-BASeD Free LANCe wrITer AND e DI TOr, PrevIOUSLY wAS eDI TOr
OF A FOODServICe MAGAzINe. SHe HAS MOre THAN 20 Ye ArS OF FOOD-wrITING ex PerIeNCe AND
wrITe S THe BLOG www.SHee FOOD. COM.
and millennials view
health more as feel-good food with no
–Caleb bryant, foodservice analyst, mintel