With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, both Chipotle and Slimfast are hoping to take advantage of dietary aspirations by introducing new keto-friendly products. One of the most popular diet trends of 2018, the ketogenic diet is a strict regimen of low-carb, high-fat foods that forces the body into a state of ketosis, which is when you burn fat, instead of carbohydrates, for energy.
On Wednesday the Mexican grill announced it was launching a line of “Lifestyle Bowls,” designed to fit into a few of the trendy diet movements. The line of new Chipotle products consists of the Keto Salad Bowl, the Paleo Salad Bowl, the Whole30 Salad Bowl, and the Double Protein Bowl.
As the keto diet is a no-carb high-fat diet, the Keto Salad Bowl offers romaine lettuce, carnitas, red salsa, cheese and guacamole. Similarly, the Paleo Salad Bowl, which only permits foods that were available during the Paleolithic era, contains romaine lettuce, barbacoa, fajita veggies, green salsa, and guacamole.
Per the Whole30 guidelines, the Whole30 Bowl contains no processed foods, added sugars, alcohol, grains, legumes, or dairy — just romaine lettuce, carnitas, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and guacamole. Meanwhile the Double Protein Bowl is a regular bowl with sour cream and a full portion of both chicken and steak.
“We’ve watched guests custom create lifestyle-specific bowls when ordering in our restaurants, so it made sense to offer delicious options via our online channels that help people easily order bowls with real ingredients that help them stick to their wellness goals,” Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement.
While the ingredient combinations can be constructed in the store, Chipotle is offering the menu items as options exclusively online and via its mobile app. These menu option range in price from $12.60 to $13.60, and calories from as low as 455 to 815.
Meanwhile SlimFast also launched a new product line that aims to bring “convenience and ease to men and women following the trendy Keto diet.” The new products include, two meal replacement Shake Mixes, two Meal Replacement Bars, Peanut Butter Cup Fat Bomb snacks, Unsweetened Keto Coffee Creamer, and MCT Oil.
“With new SlimFast Keto, we are giving American dieters what they told us they wanted for 2019 – they want a quick, easy and super-convenient way to follow the ketogenic diet,” said SlimFast president Doug Reader in a statement.
With the help of social media and word of mouth, demand for keto-friendly products has gone through the roof. However, critics of the diet say it is difficult to maintain and that the high-fat intake could be dangerous for some.
Overall demand in the US diet sector is growing. According to Euromonitor, the meal replacement product category grew by 12% from 2012 to 2017. In that same period, the supplement nutrition drink category grew by 23%. However only time will tell if this diet, and the corresponding products, will have staying power in consumers lives.