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The Surprising Versatility of Burrito Bowls

Gyro with pita chips in burrito bowl

NEW WAYS TO ADD TRENDING BOWLS TO YOUR MENU

Burrito bowls have continued to grow in popularity for the past six years.1 While the name is simple, this concept is easily updated to meet current trends, serve the tastes of your local diners, and operate in a variety of foodservice formats.

But just how crave-able are burrito bowls?

What Diners Are Saying

Burrito bowls consistently top Door Dash’s list of most common orders. Additionally, Mexican food is both the most missed food and the one diners are most excited to eat when in-person dining resumes.

And the classic burrito bowl option is here to stay. More than 80% of US respondents love the flavors of Mexican fare, according to a Datassential flavor preference report.2

Throughout the pandemic, burrito bowls have also been a safe bet. The National Restaurant Association reports that Mexican food is a top-seller among both full service and quick service restaurants right now.

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How To Bowl Them Over

While bowls are most famously known for the classic burrito variety, this type of foodservice packaging opens up a whole menu of options.

Popularity of chicken burrito bowls increased 66%

Simple variations can capitalize on current trends. For example, chicken burrito bowls grew in popularity by 66% over the last four years and were the #2 trending item for GrubHub in 2020.

To set yourself apart from others in the space, find inspiration in other menu trends. While bowls are not a new concept, they continue to evolve as trends and tastes demand new ingredient combinations. A good place to start is a basic rice bowl – which grew in popularity 44% over the last four years3 – and build a tasty and unique menu item from there.

Not sure where to start? The National Restaurant Association identified healthy and plant-based bowls as a top 10 trend in 2020. Offering a vegetarian or vegan option speaks to the 9.7 million Americans that are following a plant-based diet.4

Additionally, bowls don’t have to stay in the realm of traditional Mexican food. Breakfast is always in high-demand, so something like North African shakshuka could add flavor to your menu. Similarly, in 2020, Idaho’s favorite GrubHub order was a gyro bowl, offering traditional Greek flavors in a grab and go format.

Where to Incorporate Bowls

The name of the game when it comes to creating a bowl with menu-staying power is to focus on fresh, healthy and seasonable. If you can add the option to customize, then you’re definitely leveling up!

These customer expectations make bowls a great option for dishing up behind the line, such as in quick service restaurants or in college cafeterias. In a post-pandemic world, they’ll also be a great choice for self-serve buffets.

When paired with a clear lid, bowl meals are easily identified and can be stocked as a take, heat and eat option, great for delis and convenience stores.

And of course, during our current state of off-premise dining, burrito bowls can help you capitalize on the foods diners are craving most when they order takeout and delivery.

What Packaging To Use

Dart’s Bare® by Solo® Eco-Forward® Bagasse (Sugarcane) Dinnerware line now includes a 28 oz commercially compostable burrito bowl with a clear PET lid. Food identification is a breeze and your meals are perfectly showcased on the go! The bowls are perfect for serving hot and cold foods, like burritos and rice bowls or salads and desserts.

Our burrito bowls boast the same features of the dinnerware line you know and trust. You’ll be able to serve up meals with confidence thanks to the sturdy and soak-resistant material. Deep bowls keep food and condiments contained for mess-free feasting.

POSSIBILITIES BEYOND THE BOWL

Foodservice operators that can’t or don’t want to offer a bowl on their menu can still find many versatile uses for this product. We’ve seen burrito bowls used to serve up everything from breakfasts and lunches to appetizers and desserts. The high sides and wide mouth make it the perfect platter for:

  • a classic breakfast of bacon, eggs and pancakes
  • a grab and go lunch featuring a chicken wrap and potato chips
  • a game day snack and hearty serving of buffalo wings
  • a sweet treat like a banana spilt or chocolate- and strawberry-stuffed crepe

Breakfast in burrito bowl

Ready to learn more about our new burrito bowls? Contact a Dart representative today!

Sources:

  1. Google Trends (2021). Burrito Bowls Search Volume 2015-2020.
  2. Flavor, Affinity: How do you feel about... % Love it / Like it among total US.
  3. MenuTrends, U.S. menu penetration growth 2016-2020.
  4. Ipsos Retail Performance (2020). Vegan Trends in the US.

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