30 January 2023

Salad bars: Snack food options with something for everyone.

Culinary trends

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Consumer patterns have changed, with the French and other Europeans showing an increasing preference for fast food and takeaway, and looking for choices that inspire confidence, especially in the workplace. For food service professionals, a snack bar can be THE perfect solution! Read on to find out why…

According to a CHD Expert survey of 300 consumers in six European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom), conducted in September 2021, 34% of Europeans visit salad bars either regularly or occasionally.

Survey question: Do you regularly or occasionally go to a salad bar?

And 49% of Europeans reported that they are eating more salad as a main course or a side dish at restaurants.

Salad consumption at restaurants in Europe

Survey question: Have you increased your consumption of salad as a main course or side dish when dining at restaurants?

The French are big consumers of salads as snacks and tend to eat excessive quantities of vegetables on their lunch breaks. The lunch market continues to report healthy figures.


What are the keys to the success of a salad bar?

  • Combine simplicity with fresh products: a wide range of ingredients prepared in front of consumers to maintain their freshness
  • Personalise your menu with a broad selection of products, taking various dietary restrictions into account
  • Make recommendations in the form of daily recipe suggestions and mixes of ingredients, with portions suited to any appetite
  • Streamline service with advance prep work done on the most popular items: once a salad has been assembled, it is ready to be enjoyed.

At the end of the day, salad bars are suitable for any appetite, nutritional requirement or budget!


Picadeli: A case study in local shops

In 2017, Picadeli turned its sights on France! The company set up 430 salad bars there, mainly in local Franprix shops.

“This is the strength of our concept and our organisation”, asserts David Bicheron, CEO and Co-founder of Picadeli France. The salad bar equipment can be adapted to the allotted space in the snack food area (Picadeli usually installs two units per point of sale) and simplifies the shop’s management. Without sharing any precise numbers, David Bicheron confirms that the business from a Picadeli salad bar can account for as much as 10-20% of a shop’s sales. These figures should convince local shops, which have become a rallying point in the world of food service, allowing them to benefit from a new stream of customers.

Up to €400,000 in sales generated by a Picadeli salad bar set up in a shop in France

40 different ingredients offered by a Picadeli salad bar

3 sizes of bowls available

Note: Lunch break sales in the self-service section (excluding deli bars) amount to €948 million, representing a 1.9% increase (source: Nielsen, Rolling Annual Total P13 2019, Hyper + Supermarkets).


Example of La Fraîcherie in hyper/supermarkets

La Fraîcherie is a team whose mission it is to be a daily partner of consumers, to help them enjoy healthy, tasty food. La Fraîcherie aims to be or become the tasty companion for all “veggie” occasions, those that bring people together or are enjoyed on the go, happy and hassle-free.

Each and every day, La Fraîcherie explore the diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses and nuts, through 100% natural, delicious, colourful and creative recipes. The teams carefully select fruits and vegetables for their taste, their flavours and their freshness. At 26 workshops located in France, the teams at La Fraîcherie prepare, chop and cook them six days a week, to the delight of their consumers.

Freshness every day is their guiding principle, a requirement that maintains the authentic taste and nutritional properties of fruits and vegetables.

At la Fraîcherie, there is no need to choose between convenience, enjoyment, healthiness and engagement, even when consumers are in a hurry: between options that are ready to eat (plant-based cocktail nibbles, fruit-based desserts and vegetarian salads), ready to cook (mixed vegetables and stuffed vegetables) or ready to share (fruit platters and family-size fruit salads), there is a wide variety of choices for eating vegetarian!


Vegetables and grains: The stars of any salad bar

64% of Europeans say they regularly eat vegetables during their lunch breaks, and the prevailing trend towards flexitarianism should further increase that number. A boon for salad bars!


Survey question: Do you regularly eat vegetables on your lunch breaks?


Vegetable consumption during lunch breaks: Changes since 2019

The shift in working practices that had already begun before 2020 (remote work, workspaces adapted to project modes, partial telecommuting, etc.) is becoming further solidified, with a direct effect on lunch options away from home.
More accessible, more mobile, travelling or destructured, this food service supply will need to be local, first and foremost.

[Ebook] Snacking recipe booklet


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