Healthy and Tasty: The First USDA-Certified Organic Fast Food Restaurant in the United States
Finally, a lucky break for those of us who love to eat healthy and organic, but who are too lazy to fry our own chicken.
According to Fox News, the first fast food establishment to serve exclusively USDA-certified organic food opened two weeks ago in San Francisco. They have a small menu—mostly fried chicken, in either a bowl, a sandwich, or a wrap—and are a bit pricey (8.99 USD for a main course), but this is basically expected considering the relatively small supply of certified organic products compared to their non-organic counterparts. Smaller supply means higher prices.
In spite of the cost and contracted variety, though, the organic food industry is growing rapidly of late. The market for these products expanded 11% last year, making it a nearly $36 billion-dollar market.
The restaurant is led by founder Erica Welton, a former buyer for Costco. She wanted to go even further than Chipotle when it comes to responsible sourcing. “We were always on the go, and usually the best choice we had for food was Chipotle,” she told Fox News. “They’ve done a really great job on the non-GMO front, but somebody needed to take it all the way.”
With growth like this, though, of course there’s some competition already. Some health-conscious restaurants like Dig Inn and LYFE Kitchen already focus on using top-of-the-line ingredients, though they are not as particular about whether they are organic specifically. The vegan burger restaurant V Burger, which should be expanding soon with new locations, does have organic options, though, in addition to its side-dishes being all organic.
Welton told Eater she’s planning to open in 25 locations over the next 14 months. That’s easier said than done, as LYFE Kitchen learned when it eventually scaled back its ambitious growth plans. But with its small menu, largely positive reviews, and a founder who introduced organic chicken to Costco, the soon-to-be-chain just may be ready to stage a fast food industry coup.
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