This post is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods.
Ready Pac Foods joined forces with Domino’s last month to add a line of three co-branded salad bowls to the restaurant’s menu. The deal expands the reach of the leading maker of single-serve bowl salads and makes Domino’s the largest national pizza chain to deliver salads.
“As we continue our significant growth as a company, we are always looking at ways to reach consumers to give them the freedom to eat healthier,” Ready Pac CEO Tony Sarsam said in a news release. “Working together with long-term partners like Domino’s, we are able to realize our vision to offer fresh, healthy salads to consumers every day.”
Domino’s certainly isn’t alone in adding more health-focused options to the menu as consumer demand continues to increase for nutritious food that doesn’t compromise on flavor or convenience. The fast-growing fast food salad category accounts for almost $5 billion in sales, according to data from NPD and Technomic.
“Menu developers are beginning to integrate the concept of ‘inherent health’ into menu platforms to achieve a more positive health stance,” Packaged Facts’ 2014 report Future of Foodservice: Food and Beverage Menu Trends & Opportunities said. Even restaurant brands associated with more fun, indulgent cuisine are adding healthier dishes that provide options for those looking to stick to a healthy diet.
Offering options for everyone allows restaurants to avoid the “veto vote,” when one member of a household or party rules out a certain eatery because of their lack of choices. Healthy options like salads are especially likely to appeal to women, who “are 20% more likely than average to strongly agree that nutritional value is the most important factor in choosing the foods they eat,” the Packaged Facts report found. Adding healthy options to the menu may be key to battling negative perceptions, as “the percentage of women who strongly agree that fast food is all junk has risen 8% during 2004-14,” according to Packaged Facts.
“Now everybody can be happy on pizza night,” Domino’s Chief Marketing Officer Joe Jordan said in a news release. “There’s no shame in wanting salad when everyone else wants pizza, especially now that Domino’s has found a perfect way to offer even more options for customers across the country.”
The salads — which come in Classic Garden, Chicken Caesar and Chicken Apple Pecan varieties — are available for $5.99 when ordered as part of Domino’s mix-and-match menu.
Bundling a salad with another menu item is a popular feature with consumers, according to those polled by Technomic for its Left Side of the Menu: Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report released in 2014. Caesar salads have held their position as consumers’ favorite traditional salad, according to the report, but interest is rising in salads with more out-of-the-box ingredients. Ready Pac Foods developed the line of salads in a joint effort with Domino’s and chose the three varieties based on flavors that performed well in testing with consumers of the pizza chain in select markets.
“The new Chicken Apple Pecan option might even lure a few pizza lovers over to the salad side!”” Jordan said.
If you enjoyed this article, join SmartBrief’s email list for more stories about the food and beverage industry. We offer 17 newsletters covering the industry from restaurants to food manufacturing.