December 31, 2008
Oatmeal: The New Fast Food Breakfast
The smoothie chain Jamba Juice plans to add oatmeal to the menu at its Chicago locations Thursday, the latest sign of how restaurants are trying to give the old-fashioned breakfast food an upscale makeover.
A combination of inexpensive ingredients and a healthy image are prompting more eateries to add or promote oatmeal on their menus. Starbucks Corp. began selling what it bills as "perfect oatmeal" in portable covered bowls this fall.
Executives say it is one of the most successful food products the company has introduced. Jamba Juice, owned by Jamba Inc., plans to sell the oatmeal at all of its 749 locations by January as part of a broader effort to expand beyond blended fruit drinks into a breakfast destination.
What's distinct about the latest oatmeal products is that restaurants are trying to position them as more upscale. Starbucks is serving its oatmeal with little bags of nuts and dried fruit and selling it for about $2.45 in Chicago.
Jamba Juice is serving its oatmeal with banana slices and berry and apple toppings, and selling it for $2.95. The smoothie chain is billing it as a slow-cooked product made with steel-cut oats. (The cook time is 40 minutes, though customers don't wait that long because the Jamba Juice oatmeal is premade.)
The smoothie chain began testing oatmeal in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area in about a dozen stores early this fall. The company's serving size is about 300 calories, depending on which toppings a consumer chooses.
Posted by Lisa at December 31, 2008 9:46 AM
To send a trackback, use this url. If you know anything about this subject, please post a comment.