The latest trend at U.S. eateries is to serve a healthy menu,
owing to consumer preference for fresh, organic, nutritious and low
calorie food. Rising health concerns and increasing awareness about
obesity and related diseases have led to the shift in consumer
preference toward healthy and "good for you" products. Keeping with
Noodles & Company
has laid out plans to eliminate unnatural and unhealthy ingredients
from its products. In its first quarter 2015 earnings call on May
5, the company announced that it plans to remove all artificial
colors, flavors and preservatives from its soups, sauces and
dressings by the end of the third quarter.
This restaurant that offers noodles and pasta, soups, salads, and
sandwiches is testing naturally-raised, antibiotic-free chicken at
its restaurants (started in 2014) and is working with its suppliers
to expand this initiative throughout the nation over the rest of
2015 and into 2016.
In fact, this fast-casual chain already offers antibiotic-free,
vegetarian-fed pork system-wide as well other sustainable
ingredients, which include cage-free eggs and organic tofu, milk
Increasing Demand for Natural Ingredients
With this move, Noodles & Company joins a long list of
companies including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
, Panera Bread Company
, McDonald's Corp., The Hershey Company and Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
that are pushing for food items made of natural ingredients
While Panera Bread plans to remove 150 artificial ingredients from
its kitchens by 2017, McDonald's stated that it will discontinue
the use of chicken raised with antibiotics at its U.S restaurants
that are important to human medicine within the next two years.
Also, recently, Pepsico decided to drop the artificial sweetener
aspartame from Diet Pepsi. Kraft Foods Group stated that it would
remove artificial dyes from its mac and cheese. Not only this,
Hershey has also announced plans to eliminate high fructose corn
syrup from its candy products.
However, we believe it will be difficult for these companies to
eliminate or change ingredients and at the same time maintain the
same taste. At the end of the day, customers want good and tasty
food. While making the changes, these flagship brands will have to
be very careful about not altering the taste that consumers are
used to. Chipotle had reportedly experienced some negative
publicity when it announced its intention to eliminate genetically
modified ingredients from its menu.
Noodles & Company has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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