Shoppers may remember Good Bowls, the nutritious, tasty frozen meals that appeared in our stores last spring. The bowls were part of a pilot test of a new product, seeking to alleviate hunger while helping local farmers.
About Good Bowls
Alice Ammerman, Professor of Nutrition at UNC and Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, developed the idea for Good Bowls, working with students. The bowls use locally sourced ingredients in nutritious and tasty recipes based on the Mediterranean diet, but adapted for our area by emphasizing NC produce like sweet potatoes, peppers, and greens. Eventually, they could use “cosmetically challenged” or “seasonal glut” foods that may be harder for farmers to sell.
Since they’re frozen, Good Bowls can be easily stocked in convenience stores, bringing a healthy yet affordable option to food deserts. The Good Bowls business model will ultimately include local farmers, community kitchens, and food retailers, producing the bowls locally and providing jobs as well as healthy meal options.
About the Pilot Study
Weaver Street Market participated in a study to develop and test recipes, by selling the bowls and sampling them in our stores. Pricing models were also considered.
The pilot was a great success, generating the information needed by the Good Bowls team. The team sold 2,400 bowls at the three Weaver Street Markets, the Durham Co-op Market, and ten corner stores, both rural and urban. Customers in all locations liked the three recipes (Chicken Burrito Style Bowl, Vegetables & Chicken over Rice with Coconut Curry Sauce, and Sausage & Peppers Bowl with Cheese Grits).
The team plans to lower the sodium a bit and adding vegetarian or vegan options. They’re also exploring new packaging to be more environmentally friendly.
Now We Need Your Feedback!
The Good Bowls team has really appreciated the feedback they’ve received. Now they hope to glean more. Whether or not you’ve tried Good Bowls, please take this brief (~10 minute) survey. Thanks for supporting Good Bowls and our community!