The Fresh Investors: A Look Into the Rising Popularity of Healthy Fast Casual

The Fresh Investors: A Look Into the Rising Popularity of Healthy Fast Casual

By Amelia LevinIndustry & Research Editor

When a few salad concepts first debuted in the mid-2000s, the industry – and consumers — didn’t seem to latch onto them as readily as one might think, at least outside of the west coast. But so much has changed since then. With a new emphasis on health and wellness impacting all facets of our lives, wholesome food concepts focused on lighter, fresher fare have finally found their grounding nationwide. 

Just last month, salad chain Sweetgreen – which has had investments from acclaimed restaurateur Danny Meyer and celebrity chef Daniel Boulud — secured $35 million in additional funding for further unit and technological expansion. Private equity firm Catterton Partners recently backed Protein Bar, and there are a crop of new or rapidly expanding players that are making this “good for you” space a hot one: Tender Greens, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, City Greens, and Freshii. 

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