Bruegger’s said it has expanded its Under 500 Calories menu with a new line of lunch salads as part of a continuing focus on more healthful offerings.
The five new salads — which come just over a week after the Burlington, Vt.-based chain introduced 200-calorie “skinny” bagels — contain no more than 330 calories each. The salads are priced at $4.99, although prices may vary by location.
Bruegger’s chief marketing officer Scott Colwell told Nation’s Restaurant News on Monday that the chain’s new healthy menu initiative, which also includes sandwiches and several breakfast items, is a response to the growing trend of consumers who want healthier menu options but don’t want to sacrifice flavor or value.
“The new Café Salads were developed to offer consumers five flavorful lunch size salads that are budget friendly and under 400 calories,” he said. “The salads appeal to adults who are looking for high quality freshly prepared lunch choices.”
Three of the five 24-ounce salads — Mandarin Medley, Sesame Chicken and Chicken Caesar — will be permanent fixtures on Bruegger’s menu, while the Harvest Chicken and Classic Cobb will be available only through the end of the summer, Bruegger’s said. All five salads are available in a larger “entrée” size portion.
Bruegger’s is part of a growing list of national chains that have rolled out more healthful menu options in recent months.
For example, in May, BJ’s Restaurants, a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based casual-dining chain, introduced a line of Enlightened Entrees with 600 calories or fewer, and Los Angeles-based California Pizza Kitchen said it would feature gluten-fee pizza crust and low-calorie salads.
In addition, TCBY recently debuted Super Fro-Yo, a reformulated version of its frozen yogurt with a more nutrient-rich profile, and the Robeks smoothie chain of Los Angeles is focusing on health in a new marketing campaign and plans to add new menu items.
Bruegger’s new Café Salads will be offered at all its 300-plus restaurants nationwide and will include:
• Harvest Chicken, featuring diced chicken, salad greens, apples, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, cheddar cheese and strawberry vinaigrette.
• Classic Cobb with turkey, salad greens, bacon, egg, tomato, blue cheese crumbles, croutons and red wine vinaigrette.
• Sesame Chicken with salad greens, sesame seeds, toasted almonds, chow mein noodles and Asian sesame dressing.
• Mandarin Medley, featuring grilled chicken, salad greens, Mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, blue cheese crumbles, sliced almonds and balsamic vinaigrette.
• Chicken Caesar with salad greens, asiago cheese and croutons.
Bruegger’s also introduced Monday two new beverages enriched with vitamin C: Iced Green Tea and Lemonade Coolers.
Contact Charlie Duerr at [email protected]com.