In its What’s Hot 2020 culinary forecast, the National Restaurant Association found healthy bowls to be the fourth hottest culinary trend for 2020. More than 600 professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation were surveyed to determine the trendiest food and beverages this year.
Packed in attractive containers with transparent lids that showcase the colorful contents, these bowls are customized with a variety of better-for-you ingredients. Lean proteins such as poultry, eggs, and fish can be incorporated with leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, root veggies, and whole grains.
Bowl meals satisfy a variety of consumer demands: health, convenience, and customization. They can be transformed to fit many different concepts. For an example of this, look at Panera’s warm grain bowls.
In 2019, Panera introduced its warm grain bowls as part of its mission to offer more grains, plants, and proteins on its menu. They feature a medley of whole grains, crisp greens, vibrant vegetables, and lean protein infused with internationally-inspired flavors and sauces.
The Baja Grain Bowl features cilantro-lime long grain brown rice, a mix of red and golden quinoa, grilled citrus pepper chicken raised without antibiotics, black bean and corn salsa, house-made salsa verde, red grape tomatoes, fresh avocado, feta crumbles, and whole milk Greek yogurt.
The Mediterranean Grain Bowl features cilantro-lime long grain brown rice, a mix of red and golden quinoa on a bed of fresh arugula, layered with grilled citrus pepper chicken raised without antibiotics, red grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, diced cucumbers, hummus, lemon tahini dressing, feta crumbles, and whole milk Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon.
With the ability to check many boxes in the foodservice category, healthy bowls will have an impact in the industry for years to come.