Salad bars—with a new emphasis on flavor and variety—are crispier, crunchier and better than ever. The serve-yourself concept, which first began appearing in restaurants more than 50 years ago, is an increasingly popular choice for many consumers.
The allure of “my own creation”
In an era in which personalization is more important to diners than ever, there’s renewed appeal in not only having an at-a-glance confirmation of all available ingredients, but also in the power to select each taste that will make it to the—delightfully prechilled—plate.
Recent research confirms the case for the enduring popularity of the salad bar, with a Technomic study reporting that 46 percent of consumers prefer to build their own salad.
Hot and cold running salad
With the growth of salad bars as a regular feature in many grocery outlets, most notably in Whole Foods, salad bars are increasing the variety of their offerings. They’re also—quite literally—turning up the heat, as many salad bars include hot offerings such as soups, pasta, hot vegetables, cooked meats and more.
The days of offering just iceberg lettuce, croutons and carrot sticks are long gone, as operators amplify salad bar offerings with an eye to increased nutrition consciousness and inclusion of more flavors from global cuisines. You’re likely to find items like hummus, edamame, quinoa, chia seeds, grilled vegetables, beets and pepitas on even the most modest of modern salad bars.
T. Marzetti tip
Dressings are keeping up with the times, too. Marzetti® Simply Dressed® clean label dressings are made without high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors or gluten. Order them in back-of-house gallons, 32 oz. bottles and single-serve packets and cups.