It's finally here! Organic Fast Food. So many people ask me if these type of places exist. I have also heard of a pizza place from Florida that offers gluten-free options.
Visit Aroma Thyme Bistro for Healthy Fine Dining.
Organic meets fast food in latest green trend
CHICAGO Reuters - Professional snowboarder Tim Gargiulo is about as all-American as you can get - he's entrepreneurial, prone to overworking, and passionate about fast food, especially popular favorites like burgers, fries and shakes.
But the fledgling restaurateur won't eat - or serve - anything that's not made from organic, plant-based ingredients such as grains, beans, vegetables and nuts. His burgers are formed from soy flour and wheat gluten; he blends "milkshakes" from hemp; even his fountain drinks are sweetened with agave syrup.
"It's a cleaner way to eat," says the 34-year-old founder of Boulder, Colorado-based VG Burgers, noting that most of his consumers don't even consider themselves to be vegetarians. "A lot of people just want to come in and eat something that doesn't make them feel like taking a nap afterwards."
Gargiulo's venture, which is slated to open its second store next year and begin selling franchises after that, represents the latest niche in the organic food market: fast food. U.S. sales of organic food and beverages are set to reach $23.6 billion in 2008, up from roughly $20 billion last year and just $1 billion in 1990, according to the Greenfield, Massachusetts-based Organic Trade Association, an industry group.
NPD Group, which tracks national U.S. food consumption trends, says 26 percent of all Americans eat at least one product with an organic claim every two weeks.
"People are going to be interested in this issue and if you supply them with product, I'm sure they're going to take a look," says NPD Vice President Harry Balzer, noting that there are more consumers are eating organically these days than dieting.
Until recently, most of the demand for ready-to-eat organic meals was met by specialty groceries such as natural foods giant Whole Foods Market Inc. Organic restaurants had a presence, but existed primarily as full-service operations in the form of stand-alone cafes or upscale eateries such as Berkeley, California's renowned Chez Panisse.
"Demand was there in the retail sector," says Gargiulo, who plans to use the presence of Whole Foods stores as a gauge for potential markets able to support VG Burgers locations. "Whole Foods seems to be a good