Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Organic Fast Food Becoming Latest Trend

"CHICAGO Reuters - Professional snowboarder Tim Gargiulo is about as all-American as you can get - he's entrepreneurial, prone to overworking, and passionate about fast food, especially popular favorites like burgers, fries and shakes.

But the fledgling restaurateur won't eat - or serve - anything that's not made from organic, plant-based ingredients such as grains, beans, vegetables and nuts. His burgers are formed from soy flour and wheat gluten; he blends "milkshakes" from hemp; even his fountain drinks are sweetened with agave syrup.

"It's a cleaner way to eat," says the 34-year-old founder of Boulder, Colorado-based VG Burgers, noting that most of his consumers don't even consider themselves to be vegetarians. "A lot of people just want to come in and eat something that doesn't make them feel like taking a nap afterwards."

Gargiulo's venture, which is slated to open its second store next year and begin selling franchises after that, represents the latest niche in the organic food market: fast food. U.S. sales of organic food and beverages are set to reach $23.6 billion in 2008, up from roughly $20 billion last year and just $1 billion in 1990, according to the Greenfield, Massachusetts-based Organic Trade Association, an industry group."

Read the article