Sweetgreen Banishes Bacon and Sriracha

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By Gillie Houston Posted May 25, 2016

In a campaign to "Make America Healthy Again," the beloved D.C.-based salad seller will no longer include bacon or Sriracha on menus nationwide.

Bacon-topped and Sriracha-drizzled menu items tend to hit with millenial restaurant patrons—but one national chain is eliminating the trendy ingredients in a company-wide push for better health. In a campaign to "Make America Healthy Again," Sweetgreen, the beloved D.C.-based salad seller, will no longer include bacon or Sriracha on menus nationwide.

Following the unveiling of the updated Nutrition Facts label, which will emphasize added sugars and other potentially hazardous food components, Sweetgreen is ditching the spicy sauce because of its high added-sugar content. The chain will instead use "the sugar-free heat of dried chilies" to add punch to their dressings.

As for bacon, the health issue is, well, bacon. "Simply put, you can't be a healthy food business and serve bacon," Sweetgreen says in their mission statement. While spice- and pork-loving customers might malign the elimination of  their favorite ingredients, the chain is hoping that the introduction of a few new, healthful ingredients—such as sustainably-raised steelhead trout and roasted Portobello mushrooms—will help ease the separation anxiety.

Sweetgreen hopes the Make America Healthy Again campaign will "spark a dialogue around the food system and its relationship to our countries health crisis," calling the changes a "win-win-win" for the company, customers, and community. This move towards an even stronger health emphasis is a big statement by the rapidly growing chain, which has collected a number of high-profile (and high-number) investors. Their most recent round of funding drew $35 million from investors like power restaurateur Danny Meyer.

The chain is hoping that not only will these changes make for healthier, happier consumers, but will also do good for the world as a whole. "Especially in the midst of a presidential election cycle, we need to be talking about the food system and how it's connected to public health, climate change, and the environment," Sweetgreen says. "We need to rethink how we define 'healthy' and take action."

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