Amy’s Kitchen products have been available in the natural and organic food section for years now. It’s one of the largest organic brands still owned by its original owners, and it was one of the early adopters of BPA-free cans for its canned foods.
Sometime in June, Amy’s will take its brand in a new direction with its first fast-food restaurant, Amy’s Drive Thru. In an article about the new restaurant, Inquisitr asked: “Who’s Ready for an Organic Fast Food Drive-Thru?” I’ll admit I raised my hand.
This working mom of two teenage boys would really appreciate a better fast-food burger option somewhere close since the Elevation Burger in a local mall closed and the nearest Shake Shack is across the bridge in Philadelphia.
If Amy’s Drive Thru is successful, it will still be a while before it comes to South Jersey's suburbs. The first location is opening in Rohnert Park, California, in Sonoma County.
Amy’s will offer traditional fast food like beef and vegetarian burgers, fries, and milkshakes, and everything on the menu will be available vegan or gluten-free. Everything except the soda at Amy’s Drive Thru will be organic.
Soda seems to be one menu item that trips up restaurants trying to do things in a healthy way. When Chipotle made its big “We’re going GMO-free” announcement earlier this year, it made sure to emphasize the GMO-free change would be to the foods it cooked, leaving consumers to infer the GMO statement didn’t apply to beverages.
It seems the right time for a totally organic fast-food restaurant chain to come along. (I know it’s not a chain yet, but a burger-loving mom of burger-loving teens can hope, can’t she?) Fast food or fast-casual outlets like Chipotle and Panera are making big changes to their menus, which were already much healthier than the competition. In fact, Panera recently released its “No No List” of 150+ ingredients that will no longer be in its foods.
The traditional fast-food and fast-casual chains are scrambling to keep up. Just yesterday, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut made a big announcement about cutting out artificial ingredients. USA Today reveals it won’t be 100 percent, at least not for Taco Bell because of specialty items like Doritos Locos Tacos, and of course, the sodas. Recently, McDonald's said it’s responding to consumer demand for simpler food by phasing out antibiotics in chicken.
I have to wonder if these older fast-food restaurants can do anything at this point to play catch up with the newer ones that have been more in step with consumer needs from the start. McDonald’s sales have been plummeting since 2012, and Subway’s sales are down, too. Subway was the second-largest restaurant chain in the country until recently, when Starbuck’s, which has a healthier image, kicked it out of the number two spot.
As the healthy competition increases, maybe we’ll see a further decline in sales for the McDonalds, Taco Bells and their equivalents, even as they scramble to make changes.
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