On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Washington-area salad chain Sweetgreen announced the removal of two “cult” favorites from its menu. The fast-growing company is looking into methods to make food healthier, and the would-be health chain decided to be an example by banning both bacon and the Thai sauce known as sriracha from its offerings.
The Washington upstart, which is planning to move its headquarters cross country to Los Angeles, currently has 50 locations in the United States. The company was launched in 2007 and is the brainchild of Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, and Jonathan Neman, who decided to collaborate after they each graduated from the adjacent Georgetown University.
Riding the coattails of polarizing Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, Sweetgreen has kicked off its own campaign titled “Make America Healthy Again.” The idea, dubbed behind-the-scenes as “Healthy 2.0,” accompanies a new summer menu. Jammet states, “”We view our menu through this lens of constant evolution and improvement.”
Sriracha was singled out as part of Sweetgreen’s effort to eliminate hidden sugars from both its food and beverage menu. Typically, the hot sauce contains one gram of sugar per five gram teaspoon.
“Sriracha is delicious, and we love it,” Jammet concurs. The spicy offering was formerly a primary ingredient of the chain’s signature Spicy Sabzi bowl. Now customers will have to make do with dried chiles, the sauce’s replacement.
As for those crispy pork strips, Jammet admits that it was “something we’ve served since day one,” but “(s)imply put, you can’t be a healthy food business and serve bacon.”
The sizzling slices also requires additional time and resources to cook, and Jammet believes that the smell could even be offensive to some customers.