Sweetgreen announced it will be using extra virgin olive oil exclusively to cook proteins, grains and veggies for its warm bowls, salads and sides.
The switch goes into effect Tuesday at the fast casual’s more than 200 locations nationwide.
Sweetgreen has always been selective about sourcing, partnering with suppliers and producers that offer high-quality, local and minimally processed ingredients. The new extra virgin olive oil coming into the pipeline fits those specs; it’s from family-owned Bari Olive Oil Company, in business since 1936.
The oil is domestically cultivated and produced in California using organic, sustainable practices. Olives are milled within 24 hours of harvest and every part is used, including the ground pit and fruit that goes into cattle feed.
“Reimagining fast food goes beyond the kitchen and starts with a strong, transparent supply chain. In addition to partnering with suppliers and growers we trust, we take into account how every ingredient is prepared, down to the oil it’s cooked in,” said Nicolas Jammet, Sweetgreen co-founder and chief concept officer, in a statement. “While we know there’s more work to do, we hope this change raises the bar and continues to inspire our industry to make quality products more accessible.”
At Sweetgreen’s 17 locations in Texas, the chain is partnering with Texas Olive Ranch, a local olive oil producer. The olives are grown on a fourth-generation family farm and are cold-pressed into olive oil free of additives and preservatives.
Sweetgreen stands out in the healthy fast-casual sector for its mission to buy directly from growers and producers, source top quality ingredients and prepare just about everything on the menu from scratch.
In other oil news, the chain is exploring avocado oil in certain menu applications. Sweetgreen released a new red wine vinaigrette with an avocado oil base as part of its seasonal summer menu. That salad dressing is now available to use in custom bowls and signature salads, like the Italian Chopped currently on the menu.
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