We decided to put the energy, the electric vibe and all the boldness off for the winter. We keep them cold while we fire up the Salad Box ovens and hotplates for new products. We calm down chromatically, but not sensorially. We are launching the WHITE-BLACK winter campaign. No candles and fluffy blankets this winter: we're going outside - on the slopes! 🏂
Let the ice crackle and the soups, Plates and new hot products sizzle.
Fast forward to Giveaways, in-app promotions and goodies to take on the mountain and devour in a hurry… or in peace. We, at Salad Box are tonic and ready to explore new tastes, but we also honor tradition.
Having said that, we invite to the stage the winter salads that made a sensation last year: Crispy Caesar Salad and Winter Salad. They're packed with vitamins and protein like Santa's bag of presents. If you don't want us to make you hungry, stop reading, because we're about to remind you what ingredients they contain:
Crispy Caesar Salad
Double cream cheese🧀
Dressing of your choice 😋
We are waiting for you at Salad Box to try one of these Limited Edition salads!*
*These products can only be ordered at certain Salad Box restaurants.
❄️COOL has never been so TASTY❄️
Hummus Bowls at Salad Box
Our autumn is strong... and so are our people. You are the ones who have understood that no amount of exercise or good habits cancel out unhealthy eating. You already know that of all the macro-nutrients, by far the most challenging and important is to ensure the necessary PROTEIN intake.
But what does "necessary intake" mean? For a person who weighs 50 kg, it is recommended to eat at least 80 grams of protein per day. A person weighing 80 kg needs at least 130 g of protein/day.
Most of us don't even have 50 grams in our daily menu.
If you want to calculate your protein needs, use the formula 1.6/2.2 x how many kilograms you weigh. (1.6 - if you just want to maintain your current muscle mass, 2.2 if you want to increase)
You are close? If not, here are some simple ways to increase your daily protein intake:
Prep protein ahead. Make sure you always have cooked chicken breast (or another source of protein) in the fridge. Be one step ahead of hunger!
Plus from breakfast. Choose to eat omelette, tuna, a wrap with chicken or other options 💪 to start the day with a + protein.
Increase the portion of meat, falafel, chickpeas or any other proteins you opt for.
Keep protein snacks close. Skyr, protein pudding, cottage cheese, protein bars
When choosing your protein source, opt for low-fat versions (these are denser in protein). Chicken pipet, tuna, cottage cheese, egg white.
It's simple, but not necessarily easy. If you need a protein boost, you can always order a Hummus Bowl!!! It's a product that we thought up especially for those who want to increase their protein intake. We let the numbers speak for us:
Falafel Hummus Bowl - 49 grams of protein
Chicken Hummus Bowl - 32 grams of protein
Halloumi Hummus Bowl- 49 grams of protein
We are waiting for you at the location or on the delivery platform to try Hummus Bowls and let's agree again on the fact that healthy food can also be very delicious.
Stay strong 💪
Healthy Desserts: Myths and Challenges while tasting!
You might think that saying "healthy desserts" means forcing the limit and believing too much in a world without consequences. But we have good news for you: desserts can be part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Obviously if we eat them with moderation. Depending on our diet and physical activity, once or twice a week, a portion of dessert will not harm our health.
Healthy desserts - 3 myths and 4 quick proposals
The World Health Organization recommends that in the total energy mix intake should be: 55-75% carbohydrates, 15-30% fat, and 10-16% ProTides. This is daily, and to see what this means for an adult, it's about 275 to 375 g of carbohydrate, between 33 and 67 g of fat and between 75 and 100 g of ProTides.
Myths are as many as how many opinions and studies. We chose the most common and we offer you an alternative of healthy desserts from the Salad Box menu.
Myth 1: Sugar has no nutritional value. FALSE
Sugar contains calories. And these are the equivalent of the energy they provide. There are 4 food components that supply calories, thus energy for the body: protein (4 calories / gram); carbohydrates (4 calories / gram); alcohol (7 calories / gram); fat (9 calories / gram).
A good balance between calorie intake and burning can be the beginning of a diet that will shape your body.
Salad Box Chia pudding with peaches, musli crunch and almond flakes. It contains in the 200g portion: the highest number of proteins in our dessert products: 14.60 Proteins. And 53.00 Carbohydrates, 21.30 Lipids.
And most importantly, it contains that healthy sweet that does not make you feel guilty but spoiled.
Myth 2: Desserts are forbidden to diet. FALSE
Desserts have received an unfair reputation unjustly. The fact that are often called temptations, they are avoided and denigrated is a myth that propagates and you can defeat today. In fact, an international study has measured the effects of total elimination of everything you like from eating when you're on the diet. And surprise: those who refrain from eating the things they are fond of, are those who are most likely to overstate in the longer term.
Greek yogurt with muesli crunch, bananas and honey. With a 200 grammage contains: Carbohydrates 43.60, Proteins 13.10, Lipids 8.80.
To make a comparison, look how many Carbohydrates, Proteins and Lipids contain a milk chocolate with apples and peaches.
100 grams of product:
Milk chocolate: Carbohydrates 49, Protein 6.9, Lipids 39.90.
The idea of eating something sweet at breakfast seems sinful. But another study to disassemble this myth says that a 600 calories breakfast containing fruit, fiber, protein and something good to quench your lust makes the road to a perfect body simpler and easier unnoticed.
Chia Pudding with Banana, Peanut Butter and Musli Crunch: Grammage 200g and Carbohydrates 41.50, Protein 16.60, Lipids 24.30.
Here's how the calories report on proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.
1 gram of protein has 4 calories
1 gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories
1 gram of fat or lipid has 9 calories
And for those who do not believe a myth, or do not listen to diets but want something healthy in the morning, for them, their children or grandmother who wants something sweet, another dessert based on yogurt there is the Salad Box solution.
Greek yogurt with blueberry jam, muesli crunch and cranberry.
The most appropriate is to consume desserts made in-house. That's how we can control the amount of sugar we add, as well as the rest of the ingredients. An example of simple dessert: a combination of fruit cheese. You can use a fine cheese (cheese cream, mascarpone, etc.) and seasonal fruits such as strawberries.
But if you do not have time, then at the Salad Box the dessert menu is ready, natural, fresh and not at all sinful.
Nutritionist's advice for healthy desserts:
"It is recommended that instead of dessert we eat rather solid foods. They require mastication, and will give you a longer saturation. It also occupies more space in the stomach and the dessert is digested in a longer time. It eliminates the risk that we will use another source of food immediately after its consumption. Thus, we avoid increasing our caloric intake. "- Iulia Hădărean, Nutritionist-dietician
* Ingredient of the Week at Salad Box *
Cranberry - because the list of benefits is long, long to read as long as you eat a portion of our delicious desserts or a salad that can contain this wonderful ingredient. Whether you eat them fresh or dehydrated, they only have 46 calories per 100g and they offer you vitamin C (16% of RDI), provitamin A, vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin E (8% of RDI), niacin, retinol , phosphorus, potassium, manganese (17% of RDI), fibers (5% of RDI), salicylic acid and, in smaller amounts, essential fatty acids omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9.
@ sarahfs3122017 shows on its Instagram account, how it can be combined the appetite with lifestyle by consuming the Greek yoghurt with cranberry jam, musli crunch and cranberry.
#SOCIAL: Use #saladboxhungary and we will post your creation on Instagram.
Nutritional calculator for your lusts - Choose from menu and find out what you eat.
BOILED EGG: CALORIES, IDEAS, RECOMMENDATIONS
It's been a long time to recover after the Spring holidays, so let's go back to a spring favorite and re-enter it in our daily meals.
Egg contains all the essential amino acids, so they are a complete protein. So we recommend again the egg. As an element in your salads it answer 3 frequently asked questions. Here's why they are awaiting you, freshly prepared in your salads, at Salad Box, eggs for extra color, taste and health.
Boiled egg - the option you need to try and why
We've talked in a previous blog about the data that sometimes passes by lust and taste, and focuses on figures. We take them into account when it comes to desserts, but sometimes even when choosing the ingredients for salads, we create at Salad Box.
Because eggs sometimes have a negative reputation when it comes to diet, let us first answer the questions for those worried about this.
Question 1: How many calories does an egg have and what is it recommended for?
How many calories have an egg:
Although the proteins are in glair, yolk is also valuable for the source of healthy fats and the beta carotene it contains.
Glair - it has no fat, and carbohydrates are just 1.1 grams. It contains about 16 kcal and 4 g of protein and is rich in vitamin B2.
Yolk - provides 155 calories per gram, derived from 12.6 g protein and 10.6 g of fat. And it is rich in vitamin B12 and Selenium.
To make a comparison, for 100 grams of product- fried egg, content is: 196 Calories, 13.6 Proteins, 15.3 Lipids, 0.9 Carbohydrates.
Question 2: What can I choose from the menu if I'm on the diet?
Caesar Salad is an option with fewer lipids, for those with a clear TO DO list. Ingredients: Cucumber, Mozzarella, Egg, Green salad, Chicken grill. With 370g mass, it contains: 42.5g Carbohydrates, 41.3g Proteins and only 26.20g Lipids.
Question 3: Why add boiled egg to my favorite salad?
We recommend to mix them: your favorite salad plus an extra ingredient- egg.
Because it fits perfectly with sweet, sour or salty, it is the ideal ingredient that brings on a significantly contribution to the health resources.
And not just that, if you give us a tag to your sunny salad with an egg’s yolk, we will post on our page the combination.
Nutritionist's advice for boiled egg:
"Egg is the best protein source of all foods (egg protein bioavailability is 100%, compared to meat that reaches 97-98%). This tells us that our body gets to use them at their maximum capacity. "- Iulia Hădărean, Nutritionist-dietician
* Dressing of the week at Salad Box *
Emma with Avocado and Oregano - Because it will perfectly complement the color palette and will complete the taste of egg salads. The fine balance between the bitter and sweet, with flavors of the Mediterranean summer garden and the fresh feeling, will be your favorite and you may have a new To Go dressing.
Combine this week’s dressing with the recommended Salads or with those you create.
@domokostimea - a trainer, dancer and nutritionist, shows us her option for a salad with extra egg only good for the #healthyfood and #afterworkout category.
SOCIAL: Use #saladboxhungary. We will post on our Salad Box Instagram your creations.
Nutritional calculator for your lusts - Choose from menu and find out what you eat
Get ready to meet our new
It is that time of the year when temperature drops and the days grow shorter. As the weather cools down, meals heat up. Salad Box is proud to have a passionate team that has been hard at work developing new health-conscious dishes to keep you warm. Get ready to meet our new Pumpkin Soup!
We couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate autumn than enjoying the hot and nourishing Pumpkin Soup. It will warm you up from the inside on these icy days. As our soup-spiration project goes on, we want to make sure you are familiar to the health benefits of consuming delicious and nourishing soup. If not, please give us a second, and read below!
Unlike other cooking methods, soup retains the nutritional value of vegetables. Considering that many of us are looking to increase the intake of veggies and their vitamins, the new Pumpkin Soup is the perfect choice. Only 100 gr of raw pumpkin contains 100% of the daily vitamin A requirements. It is also rich in antioxidants and potassium, copper, magnesium , phosphorus, iron and zinc. Make sure you are keeping your body happy and charged by nourishing it with our new pumpkin delight.
Pumpkin Soup makes for a quick and easy comfort food. With this definite autumn chill in the air, happy food is needed. It has been proved that eating high nutritional meals, improves the wellness of our body and mind. So, don’t hesitate to try our new soup to keep yourself nourished and energized throughout the coming cool days.
Because it is so light, our new soup is perfect to be paired with a salad or a drink or to be consumed as a meal on its own especially if you add some croutons. It will help you lose or maintain your weight without feeling hungry. If you battle with a few extra kilos, the sedentary mood that cool days bring along is not your best pall. Stay fit by eating low calorie foods, but don’t forget to offer your body enough nutritional income. The Pumpkin Soup is your perfect ally in this journey. It will keep you nourished and healthy.
Make the best of this season! We know life is not all about food, but it sure matters much. Grab a cup of Pumpkin Soup and hide under a blanket to enjoy a good book or a good movie. Allow us to be part of your journey. We just want to turn it into something awesome. Food is life! Make it good!
Try our new summer cooler soup:
Though summer is upon us, it’s been more rainy than sunny lately. If you are missing the sunny days, head to Salad Box to enjoy our fresh, hearty, sensational Gazpacho! The taste of our new cold soup will take you straight to the sunny hills of Spain.
Care e faza cu ouăle?
Orice individ interesat în nutriție poate confirma faptul că ouăle conțin multe vitamine și minerale care sunt părți esențiale ale unui regim alimentar sănătos și echilibrat. Ele trebuie să fie văzute ca o sursă ieftină, versatilă și cu proteine ușor de digerat. Proteinele din ou sunt mai bine asimilate de organism decât proteinele din carne datorită bogăției în săruri minerale și vitamine.
Dar oare există vreo diferență majoră între tipurile de ouă disponibile pe piață? Cu siguranță: da. Calitatea ingredientelor este una dintre emblemele Salad Box. În acest sens, confirmăm cu entuziasm intenția și disponibilitatea de a fi clienți pentru producătorii de ouă free range.
Momentan, oferta pieței ne plasează în incapacitatea de a desfășura activitatea utilizând exclusiv ouă din clasa 1, dar privim cu interes la orizontul următorilor 3 ani, angajându-ne ca până la finalul anului 2025 să migrăm integral la utilizarea ouălor din clasa 2.
Susținem și suntem dispuși să oferim suport proiectelor care accelerează această tranziție la nivel național.
Alăturăte-ne nouă în acest proces și decide să consumi ouă din clasa 2!
light, tasty and wholesome
This year the rounds of heat grow stronger at the end of summer. As the weather heats up so does our passion for healthy food and our commitment to help you eat properly. We know time is not our friend when it comes to eating healthy, that’s why we decided to do something and cut it down from the list of excuses. Salad Box brings on the new portable, hand-held, easy and fun to eat Wraps.
We created our new product to meet your nutritional needs and be super-easy to manipulate while you drive, push the trolley, do shopping or whatever you like... you only need one hand and all of your taste buds to enjoy our delicious Wraps.
You can choose one of our tasty take-out wraps with the option of chicken or tuna. Both are loaded with delicious cheese, lettuce, corn and tomatoes. They will fill you up and keep you satisfied for your busy day. The benefits of including protein in your diet include weight maintenance, weight loss, boosting your energy levels, supporting your muscles and bones as well as supporting the absorption of important nutrients. On the other hand, the carbs in the tortilla used to prepare the Wraps, work to maintain steady blood sugar. This does not only keep you feeling satisfied for longer but also stabilizes your mood. Complex carbs release glucose slowly providing a steady source of fuel for the brain and body. The combination of protein and carbs is beneficial because eating protein with every meal can help slow the absorption of carbohydrates in your blood, prevent blood sugar crashes and increase the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which can improve your mood and energy for several hours after eating. The veggies that fill our Wraps provide significant amounts of vitamins K, A, C that boosts your energy and immune system and also improve the health of your skin, tooth and nails.
If you don't have the time or the room in your stomach for a full wrap, that’s not a problem! For each type of wrap, we have two sizes available. Stop by to try one of our snack-size Wraps(140 gr) for a quick bite or the King Wrap(250 gr) for one of the main meals of the day.
We are determined to bring you the most healthy and convenient foods. Drop in any of our stores and pick up your fresh and healthy Wraps. They are waiting for you!
We care about your wellbeing! We want you to feel healthy and confortable wearing your body. It is known that great health begins with balanced nutrition. Good news is you don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat smart. We are sure it’s not always easy to nourish your body with essential nutrients, giving our busy schedules, which is why we developed a new product to help you through: Nutrimix.
So what exactly is Nutrimix? It is a power-packed nourish bowl, a concept that is highly appreciated worldwide. It is based on two main principles: balance and contrast.
Balance. You can go crazy when choosing ingredients for your favorite Nutrimix. Don’t worry, we got it all planned out. While mixing a whole rainbow of ingredients and seasoning it in any number of ways, the basic formula always remains the same. These way we make sure to power-pack every Nutrimix with all the nutrients needed to fill you up, ignite your energy and spark your soul. The best bowls balance a combination of whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh vegetables or fruit. Carbs, proteins, vitamins and good fats… Nutimix hits them all and brings out a healthy dish option for any meal of the day.
Contrast. It is all about the delicious mix-ins and bold combinations. The whole idea is to bring together all the things that make you feel extremely good, and combine them into one tasty creation. Nutrimix juggles with colors, textures, shapes and cooking methods that were never brought together before. It contains ingredients that are boiled (rice, quinoa), as well as grilled (halloumi, chicken, beef, sweet potato ) or served raw. On the same plate you will find hot and cold, creamy and crispy, all sorts of shapes, any type of flavor… everything and anything that will elevate your health and will live you filling all sorts of awesome.
Nutrimix is as good to look as it is to eat. We are waiting for you in any of our restaurants to come and enjoy its beautiful balance and delicious taste.
Every day we all hear we need to consume food for the vitamins our body needs. Without them, our skin loses elasticity, our bones weaken, our immunity is lowered, our organs and systems do not function at their full capacity, we get more tired and we can't concentrate well.
How can we avoid these negative effects on our health?
We can choose the YOU+ Vitamins salad. Especially during the cold season, when temperatures are lower, our immunity must be sustained with a vitamin intake, and the fatigue we fell during this period may be due to a lower intake of vitamin rich food.
The YOU+ Vitamins salad comes to treat this problem, with a significant contribution of vitamins, found in its ingredients: lettuce, halloumi, broccoli, apple, cranberries, tangerines, mozzarella pearls and avocado.
(%) of recommended daily intake for adults
*Amount of vitamins found in a YOU+ Vitamins salad.
And still, what are vitamins, these "building blocks" which sustain our body?
A vitamin is an organic compound and essential nutrient which our body needs in various amounts in order to function properly. These cannot be synthetized by the body, so they must be taken from the food we eat. In total, there are 13 vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E and K.
Vitamins have various biological functions. Some, like vitamin D, are helping in the metabolism of minerals (getting along well with calcium, helping with intestinal calcium absorption), others help in tissue generation (vitamin A), while some even have anti-oxidant properties (fight against free radicals - oxidative stress), such as vitamin E, or vitamin C.
The deficit of one or more vitamins is not something to be neglected. For example, the deficit of vitamin D causes bone demineralization and hurries up the appearance of osteoporosis. Lack of vitamin A causes sight problems and the lack of B group vitamins may have adverse effects on the nervous system.
Is there any food which contains all these vitamins? Certainly not. Therefore, it is necessary to opt for food diversity and always choose a varied diet to ensure optimum amounts of vitamins.
At the end of a cold day, draw the line and check the vitamin intake. Are they all covered?
Health comes first!
Nutritionist - Dietician
Find out which of the YOU +
salads suits you best!
The You + salads range has been thoughtfully designed to meet today's nutritional needs and bring extra benefits.
WHAT SHOULD WE
EAT IN AUTUMN?
Eating seasonal foods is the best way to feed your body!
The new super healthy ingredients!
The new super healthy ingredients!
There is a wide variety of foods with a positive impact on human health, making it difficult to select only a few. With all recent research based on the nutritional value, we chose six of them: avocado, broccoli, sweet potatoes, courgette, dried tomatoes, parsley and Kale cabbage.
a powerful source of nutritious substances
You have definitely seen in various hypermarkets or even kitchens the small, bright green colored little grains. There are the so-called germinated seeds or germs, for short. Curiosity is known to increase our appetite, so let’s find more about these germs.
You can think of germs as the embryo of the seed. They are, in fact, the reproductive part, which, through germination, allows it to grow into a mature plant. Therefore, the germs will contain the same characteristics and benefits as the plants into which they will grow, which is why they are worth eating.
Germs are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, as well as healthy fats. In order to preserve these properties the most useful consumption recommendation is: as close to the natural state as possible.
For instance, they can be consumed raw in a salad, as a side dish, or in addition to a cream soup. Of course, they can be used in any meal, if you use your imagination. Just remember that they preserve their vitamins content only as long as they are not thermally-treated.
From the wealth of germs, we present you the four most commonly used in foods:
It is well known that broccoli is a plant with numerous health benefits, which deserves to be included in our daily diet. When it isn’t available we can use its germs, which are rich in proteins, vitamins A, B, C, E and K – a real vitamin blast! Some of these vitamins are also antioxidants. So, we can also benefit from their property to help us fight against the free radicals.
2. Radish germs
Whether we are talking about white or red radishes, one thing is certain: vitamins A, B1, B6 and C are present in their germs in abundance. Besides, they come packed with folic acid, iron and potassium.
Leek germs help the immune system to function properly through their high content in vitamins C, B, as well as A, the champion vitamin in preserving eye health.
4.Red cabbage germs
These germs represent an incredible source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and K, minerals, as well as proteins.
Author Iulia Hadarean
10 nutrition trends
to apply in 2016
10 nutrition trends to apply in 2016
Nutrition is in high demand these days and it is constantly evolving, according to the most recently conducted studies. Those who seek to have a healthier lifestyle and to eat properly can take full advantage of these researches.
Let’s find out together which the latest trends in nutrition are and what we can learn from them:
2016 – the international year of vegetables
Vegetables? A term seldom heard recently, but one that carries a high nutritional significance. People have forgotten all about beans, whether we’re talking about peas, lentil, chickpeas or white beans (also known as “poor man’s meal).
These beans offer a significant amount of plant based proteins, which should not be overlooked in our daily diet. Besides being used as such, you will discover flours made from these beans, which can be used as an ingredient in a multitude of meals.
Fruit and vegetable based meals
Let’s encourage local agriculture and farmers, let’s choose as many plant based meals, i.e. fruits and vegetables. The western diet has drastically reduced the consumption of vegetables and fruit, both by adults and by children. An intervention is required in order to change that: eat as many salads as possible!
Maintaining the intestinal micro biome
Recent studies have discovered that the health of the intestinal micro biome is very important in digestion, colon health, immunity, as well as weight loss. What is a micro biome? All beings living in our body and on its surface form an ecosystem called a “micro biome”, which can reach up to 1.5 kg in weight and are good bacteria.
Whole grain cereals in high demand
The importance of whole grain cereals and why we should choose them is well known these days. Thus, whole grain flour is considered a better option than refined flour as it’s beneficial by providing a higher intake of fibers, a slower digestion and a constant sugar level. Whole grain cereals also provide prolonged satiety, being useful in weight loss.
2016 is the year when we truly realize that sugar is present in a wide variety of foods. We have come to consider sugar as a real “food in our diet” and this has led to a series of health problems. They include obesity, cardiovascular conditions, arterial hypertension, diabetes, as well as many others. We have come to compare any taste with the sweet taste we are used with. Unfortunately, we were wrong, we should see sugar as a spice, not a food. We should consume it in small amounts, at regular intervals (not daily).
Fats? It is possible
Fat has returned in our diet gloriously, the latest studies forecasting a bright future for it, with no connection with cardiovascular conditions and weight gain. It is recommended to consume natural foods, for instance dairy products with natural fat content. Partially or fully skimmed dairy products come packed with preservatives and even sugar. Portion recommendations remain the same, at moderate consumption rate.
The Northern diet is the new Mediterranean diet
Let’s eat like the Northerners. That means plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals, fish and seafood, natural dairy products and healthy fats. Just like the Mediterranean diet, so much discussed over the time, the foods rich in omega fatty acids and the antioxidants are on top of the healthy list. This type of diet promises weight loss, improvement of arterial hypertension, of cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. Only good things about the North!
New entry: chia seeds
They are in high demand due to their high content in calcium, proteins, fibers, antioxidants, iron and potassium. Where else could you find so many nutrients in one item?
Nutrients from smoothies
These drinks are in full swing this year, vegetable smoothies in particular being in high demand. They are an alternative way of consuming vegetables and there is an almost infinite number of combinations you can try. You just can’t fail with them, any mix will provide a blast of vitamins and minerals. Not to mention it is superior to fresh juice, because it preserves the entire pulp and the fibers it comes packed with.
Mindfulness or attention dedicated to food
We try to encourage a balanced diet and to encourage people to take an interest in it. Let’s stop following so many diets, frustrating ourselves, counting the calories, measuring our food and ourselves every moment of the day and let’s look at food as a natural, pleasant and necessary thing. Let’s be healthy, both as bodies and souls!
Author: Iulia Hadarean, nutritionist-dietician
Health benefits of
Known as wild fruits by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and highly valued in the Middle Ages, strawberries (Fragraria ananassa) have been grown in European gardens only since the 18th century. They are in fact a hybrid between wild strawberries from North America and Chile.
Although found on the shelves of the supermarkets as early as May, strawberries become truly juicy and tasty in June. This is the period when we can fully enjoy the multitude of benefits that these fruits provide. After all, they are considered to be some of the most nutritious fruits.
After blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, strawberries are, in fact, the fourth richest fruit in antioxidants. Antioxidants fight against cell aging by protecting them against the free radicals and thus reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular conditions, of strokes. They can also help increase the lipid profile by increasing the good cholesterol (HDL), reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing the triglyceride level.
In addition to their antioxidant properties, strawberries have a significant amount of dietary fibers (2 g/100 g). They help the digestive system and improve the bowel movement, offer prolonged satiety, delay sugar absorption and reduce the cholesterol level.
These fruits are also abounding in vitamins and minerals. The have high levels of vitamin C (100 g of strawberries provide 58.8 mg of vitamin C, representing 98% of the daily requirements for an adult), vitamin K, folates and manganese. All of these, for only 32 kcal/100 g!
Although strawberries are a nutritious food, they should not be eaten in excess. Consumed in large amounts, fruits can cause gastric discomfort and flatulence. They should be eaten fresh, as a snack between meals, in order to make the most of the vitamins and minerals they contain.
Author Iulia Hadarean, Nutritionist-dietician
THE FAVORITE OF AMERICAN MILLIONAIRES
With its colors ranging from green to violet, having smooth or crinkled leaves and being related with the Romanian cabbage, the broccoli, the cauliflower or the brussel sprouts, kale is one the most nutritious foods on earth.
Its reputation is rightfully earned, having an extremely high nutritional density. Thus, compared with other types of cabbage or foods from the same family range, kale offers many more benefits in a much greater quantity. It’s not for nothing that Manhattan millionaires enjoy having it, according to the New York Times, at any time of day and any reception they attend.
100 g of kale provide only 50 kcal, thus having a low energy density. Kale is a “blast” of vitamins and minerals, if we consider that the same 100g that provide the macronutrients above also provide nearly 300% of the daily necessary of Vitamin A, 200% of the daily necessary of vitamin C (almost 4.5 more than spinach) and 1000% of the necessary of vitamin K (vitamin K being essential for blood clotting)!
On top of that Kale is a source of calcium (14% - with very good absorption), potassium (13%), copper (14%) and magnesium (39%). Thus we benefit from a pack of vitamins and minerals. Basically, kale has more calcium than milk and more vitamin C than an orange, and this transforms it into the super-food of the moment.
Studies have identified 45 different flavonoids (among them kaempferol and quercetin) in kale, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are present in a high amount, being represented by beta-carotene (precursor of Vitamin A), Vitamin C, flavonoids, polyphenols, all of them fight against oxidizing stress, cell ageing, cardiovascular conditions, arterial hypertension, being anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antidepressant substances.
In order to preserve its vitamins, it is recommended to eat raw kale (just washed for maximum 5 minutes under a jet of water), boiled or steamed (again, for maximum 5 minutes). Prolonged heat processing poses the risk of losing the Vitamin C and the antioxidants.
Furthermore kale consumption facilitates weight loss, since it has a high content of dietary fibers and a high amount of water. It offers a prolonged feeling of satiety, being useful when you want to lose a few kilos. In order to gain the most of it, you need to eat it at least 2 or 3 times a week. With the baggage of properties, vitamins and minerals it provides, kale should be eaten daily.
Over 2000 people
refreshed their summer with Salad Box!
Over 2000 people refreshed their summer with the fresh drinks and lemonades brought by Salad Box at the “Press Refresh” competition.
The competition launched at the beginning of the summer had only winners. Being able to give our customers the “Refresh” they needed, makes us at Salad Box the happiest winner of all.
We truly hope that our 1200 prizes, consisting of cooling bags, volleyballs and swimming rings, made our customers’ summer greater, funnier and way cooler.
For some the refresh will last more than one summer! Laura Emilia Oprea (Cluj) is the lucky winner of the special prize, a trip with the greatest destination of all: “anywhere in the world”. She decided to give her Christmas holiday a much needed “Refresh”, going on a special trip.
We also hope that Aida Grigore (Cluj) is feeling as fresh as when she entered our competition. She is the lucky winner of the second prize – a juice extractor and a digital scale.
At the same time, Gheorghe Ciuca (Cluj), winner of the third prize, will “Refresh” his kitchen appliances with a new blender and toaster. Joyfully, since his toaster had just broken.
Lastly, we wish Larisa Manuela Ambrosie (Iasi) good luck with her cooking and have a healthy appetite! Certainly the food processor and electric grill – the first prize of the Press Refresh competition – will bring her joy and relish for a long time from now on.
Thank you for participating and for joining us!
THE BENEFITS OF NATURAL CARBOHYDRATES
CHICKPEAS, BEANS, LENTILS
Did you know that the daily calories intake from carbohydrates represents 50-60% of the daily necessary calories? Did you know these are a main energy source for our bodies?
Chickpeas, lentils and white beans are all part of the group of so-called good carbohydrates, the ones which are beneficial for our bodies, in particular due to their slow assimilation. Chickpeas are an excellent source of fibers and very rich in antioxidant phytonutrients. Lentils (“a small nutritional giant”) is a very good source of fibers that helps reduce cholesterol. Lastly, beans are a fat-free source of proteins with a high content of magnesium.
What are the good carbohydrates?
They are called good carbohydrates due to the fact that they decompose slowly, providing a constant energy ratio for a longer period. In addition, they help remove toxins, reduce the cholesterol level and maintain an ideal body weight.
What about the so-called bad carbohydrates? Pasta, cake, chips and soft drinks can generate large releases of insulin in the body, which can increase the cholesterol level in the blood, increasing the risk of cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.
In conclusion, carbohydrates play an important role in a healthy diet. A total exclusion of these from our diet is a mistake, we just need to choose the good ones.
SALAD BOX AND THE CHILDREN HOPE PROGRAM
A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP PROMOTING THE HEALTH AND EDUCATION OF UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN
“Hope” on its name, the creative art program for children is dedicating time and energy for the benefit of children who are in foster care. The actions achieved together with Salad Box are meant to give them hope, to promote a healthier lifestyle and to change their lives for good.
This successful partnership is an example for many companies through its simplicity. It shows that small things can have a great impact in children’s lives.
Salad Box has given us the necessary support for its volunteer actions, being involved in several projects. The first one was Swimathon 2015, where Salad Box offered salads and fresh drinks to the “Swim 4 Hope team”. A team of 15 children from Cluj who swam 205 meters in the swimming pool in order to raise money for the children at the center.
Following the successful collaboration, Hope Program members had the honor of being invited at the inauguration of the new Salad Box location in Iulius Mall, Cluj-Napoca.
The ”1 meal = 1 donation” openingCampaign was aimed at involving people from Cluj in the program actions, Salad Box donating 10% of the total income of the day.
The campaign was a great success. Volunteers bought with the collected money a bicycle and board games for the children at the center.
We would like to say thank you to the Salad Box team, all friends and all the rest for supporting the education of the children at the center.
Author: Vlad Pop, Manager Creating art program for children ”HOPE”
VERSUS NUTRITIONAL DENSITY
Ideally, food provides both energy and other substances called micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Sadly, much of today’s food is so processed that energy is the only provided element. This energy is called “empty calories”, precisely because of its lack of nutrients.
Sugar, highly refined flour and alcohol are typical sources. Oils and industrial fats are a close second, if the original structure was altered by processing. And when the “mass” is a mix of sugar, refined flour and industrial fats, then the defining equation is: high caloric density combined with low nutritional density. A series of industrial sodas, sweets and snacks share this shortcoming.
In addition, some components can be not only empty of nutrients, but also harmful for the metabolism, endocrine, cardiovascular system and even for the psychological wellbeing. Science has proven these effects for sugar and trans fats, and the fight with obesity and diabetes already has an enemy in these components.
The opposite is represented by nourishing foods which are nutritionally dense and provide a diversity of quality nutrients. Often, they provide a lot of energy, as in the case of seeds, quality oils, cereals, dried fruit or some dairy products.
Other times, the foods are low in calories but rich in term of useful constituents. This is the case for many fruits, lean meat, fish, salads, soups and vegetable side dishes. These foods are nutritionally dense and low in calories, placing them as the opposite of “empty” calories.
If there were an ideal food, it would certainly be nutritionally dense!
Author: Dr. Adrian Copcea, nutritionist
Steps towards a
Nutrition and medicine nowadays are experiencing a dramatic spread of metabolic diseases: obesity, diabetes, hepatic steatosis, dyslipidemia, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypertension and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Science has concluded that genetics cannot explain this explosion of metabolic spectrum disorders. However the "Western" modern lifestyle that brought great technologic progress also came with several "fast" life drawback. We serve improvised meals on the run, we are severely stressed, we sleep badly and we are seating too much down or in front of the computer screens.
A healthy lifestyle means keeping fit. From walking outdoors to the so diffused forms of organized movement, the physical activity regulates numerous biological circuits. Along with that, a healthy diet provides the fuel and raw material from which our cells are built. We are what we eat. Fatigue, insomnia, focusing problems at work, digestive disorders, headache and especially our mental state are all rooted in the way we eat. There is no need for an army of specialists to advise us on having breakfast or having regular and diverse meals and avoid even the small bites or juices that we believe them to be bad or unnecessary.
A healthy lifestyle lived to the end means even more: not smoking, a moderate consumption of alcohol, more than a good sleep and stress management. Every step taken in this direction will lead us to a better shape, more energy for the challenges of our fast-paced lives and certainly to a pleasant and healthy life.
Author: Dr. Adrian Copcea, specialist nutritionist
the key of healthy eating
Healthy eating is the way we are covering our nutritional needs. Different versions of the accepted scientific nutrition, including the Mediterranean diet, medical diets, vegetarian or omnivore patterns and various options of different communities all have in common a major principle: the adequate supply of nutrients.
The human body needs a wide range of nutrients to reach the composition of the body or to be used for optimum performance. The cells contain protein and fat in their structure and the body's main fuel is the glucose from the food carbohydrates. The functioning of biological systems require, in addition, components such as: calcium (skeletal system), iron (blood circulation), amino acids (muscular and immune system), fats (nervous and endocrine system), sodium and potassium (physio-chemical balances), magnesium, iodine and vitamins. Many other metabolic, digestive or protective benefits can be obtained from fibers, probiotics, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Not surprisingly, only a diverse diet can provide all this palette of nutrients. The association of several components enhances the assimilation of others, as soups and salads have demonstrated. Furthermore, numerous metabolic and cardiovascular benefits of fruit and vegetables are constantly being discovered. The "super-food" group returns regularly to the forefront thanks to the inexhaustible reservoir of surprises in nutrition. Therefore, if there is no super-food but instead there are valuable foods that can be included in a healthy diet. This cannot be otherwise than adapted to our complex needs, so inevitably diverse.
Author: Dr. Adrian Copcea, specialist nutritionist
About tasty as well as
“Desserts don’t reach the stomach, they go straight to the heart”. This is something we all say, perhaps because it is true, however we take it. Figuratively speaking, we all enjoy a tasty dessert more with the olfactory senses than in a rational, nutritional way. A sweet snack delights our taste buds, which matters more than the fact that it provides a certain number of calories. That may or may not satisfy our nutritional needs.
Literally, a dessert could get “straight to the heart” through the amount of sugar it contains. It is well-knows that a diet rich in sugar can increase the risk of obesity, of diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, such as arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia etc.
Thus, if we care about our health and we wish to enjoy a healthy, long life, it is ideal to opt for a balanced and healthy diet. Although present in most foods, the human body does not need this white, processed, sugar.
The human body takes its necessary sugars (glucose, fructose) from other types of foods: whole grain cereals (whole grain bread, rice, whole grain pasta, potatoes, oats, barley, rye), vegetables (beans, peas, lentil, pick pea) and fruits.
In fact, it is recommended to limit sugar consumption to 30 g/ day for women and 40 g/ day for men.
However, if we wish to stay clear of sugar, yet continue to indulge in the deliciously sweet treats, we could opt for less processed sweets, with higher satiability and, of course, with higher nutritional value.
Ice cream, waffles, candy, jelly beans, cakes can be replaced with fruits (a perfect idea for a dessert) or with fruit yogurt. No, we are not talking about the readymade ones, which contain a significant amount of sugar, but of those we can make ourselves or that are found as such.
An excellent choice for a healthy dessert is simple: greek yogurt with added fresh fruits or fruit jam.
Which are the advantages?
If we choose greek yogurt, this has a greater amount of proteins and thus provides a prolonged feeling of satiety. In addition, it contains a much smaller amount of sugar, just like naturally present in fresh fruit or fruit jam (since it is season now).
Another choice for a healthy dessert right now is pudding. We don’t need powders to obtain it, we can use a whole range of foods that have liquid absorption properties and that achieve a pudding-like consistency.
Did you know that chia seeds are ideal for this?
Being rich in dietary fibers, chia seeds have the property of absorbing the liquid in which they are placed and to form a gel that gives a prolonged feeling of satiety. Chia pudding is an ideal choice for dessert and it can be prepared both with animal based or plant based milk, in various combinations: with fresh fruit, fruit jam, peanut butter etc.
With so many choices available, it is easy to enjoy a healthy dessert! Don’t forget, we need to nourish our souls as well as our bodies!
hydrate properly and why?
Our body depends on water in order to survive. Each cell, tissue or organ needs water. Therefore, in addition to diet, physical activity and rest, proper hydration is one of the main features of a healthy lifestyle.
The human body contains over 70% water, a percentage higher in men than in women, phenomenon explained by the percentage of adipose tissue (containing very little water). The higher the fat percentage, the lower the water percentage.
In summer, it is important to hydrate properly. Still we have to be careful what type of water we drink, in order to ensure the proper transport and the absorption of nutritional substances, to help the digestion, to maintain kidney functioning and to control the acid-base balance of the body.
Dehydration symptoms consist of a feeling of dry mouth, prolonged fatigue, dry skin, drowsiness, intense thirst, headaches and dark colored urine.
Still water is a good choice for absolutely everybody, while mineral water is recommended only for people who don’t suffer from kidney or heart conditions.
The daily consumption of liquids depends on:
physical activity (liquid requirements increase with the physical activity level, according to the type of sport, intensity and duration)
diet (a rich diet in fruit, vegetables or soups provides an addition of beneficial liquids to the body)
weight (liquid requirements are different for each person, depending on own weight)
temperature and environment (by exposing ourselves to a higher temperature or to a dry environment our body needs more liquids to maintain a constant temperature)
These being said, all that is left now is to start hydrating ourselves correctly.
It is recommended drinking about 8 glasses of water/ day, the equivalent of approximately 2000 ml for a person weighing 70 kg. Each person needs 1 ml liquid/1 kcal consumed during the day, or, in simpler terms, 30-35 ml/kg.
The recommended liquids are still water, fruit-enriched water (for instance lemonade), plant or fruit teas, an occasional fruit fresh, as well as plenty vegetables and soups.
Author: Iulia Hadarean, nutritionist-dietician
How to get
a healthy energy boost in summer
Spring has brought with it not just the sun, but also a wealth of vegetables and fruits full of vitamins and color. This is the right time for a full vitaminization, especially since, passing through winter, we have deprived our bodies of many of these vitamins. The best choice right now are salads and soups that are rich in vegetables.
Versatile, crunchy, with a variety of textures, colors and flavors, salads are the handiest option when it comes to vitaminization. If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, get used to eat at least a salad a day, whether you do this at home, at work or in town.
Let’s find out which are the vitamins our body needs at this time of the year:
It is important for the health of the teguments (skin and mucous membranes), also offering good eyesight.
We find it in eggs, green vegetables (spinach), green beans, orange fruits (oranges, apricots, peaches) and vegetables (carrots, peppers).
A salad rich in vitamin A is Green Box.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Also known as the “goodwill vitamin” or the “intellectual performance vitamin”, vitamin B is indispensible to the body due to its beneficial effects on the nervous system.
We find it in beer yeast, meat, whole grain cereals, sunflower seeds, walnuts, legumes (beans, chickpea) and from muesli yogurt.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
It is important for the health of the hair, nails and eyes.
Important sources of this vitamin are represented by eggs, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli and radishes.
You can also find it in mushroom cream soups.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
It helps control the cholesterol and sugar level in the blood.
We find it in beetroots, salmon, tuna, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.
The Tuna salad can help you acquire this vitamin. Vitamin B6 has a great influence on the growth process and can help with the treatment of cardiovascular conditions.
Good sources are bananas, salmon, spinach, avocado, egg yolk or whole grain cereals.
Or you could try the Alaska salad.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
It contributes to the proper functioning of the cells, the nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.
We find it in animal products, such as chicken, fish, beef, eggs, dairy products (cheese) or, most simply, in the Most Wanted salad.
We need it especially in the winter/ summer transition periods because it helps us maintain our immunity and health.
In addition, vitamin C facilitates iron absorption in the digestive tube and we can find it in citric fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruit), broccoli, berries, melon, parsley etc.
Do you want a “blast” of vitamin C? Try the fruit salad.
It is essential for the bone system health, it is generated by the action of the sunrays, but we can also take it from egg yolk, fish, liver or mushrooms.
You can also try our Boston salad.
This vitamin is an excellent antioxidant that fights against the free radicals.
The main sources from vitamin E are: walnuts, seeds, vegetable oil, green leaves, cereals and the broccoli cream soup.
It plays an important role in blood clotting.
We can take it from spinach, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, eggs, meat or spinach cream soup.
Author: Iulia Hadarean, nutritionist-dietician
A salad a day
INTERVIEW WITH DAN ISAI, CEO SALAD BOX AND AMBASSADOR OF JAMIE OLIVER IN ROMANIA
A salad a day for a healthy life- Interview with Dan Isai, CEO Salad Box and ambassador of Jamie Oliver in Romania
In mid-February, Salad Box opened a new restaurant in the center of Bucharest, on the French street. Staying faithful to the same healthy, fast and delicious menu, the tenth restaurant opened in Bucharest also illustrates a new concept of minimalistic, fresh and welcoming design.
The employees, with nametags that say “Salad Artists”, season each order with a wide smile. This is the company’s policy: service quality should match the quality of the products served.
Salad Box, the company created four years ago by Dan Isai, Radu Lupas, Daniel Lar and Vlad Lupas, is the third largest fast-food restaurant chain in Romania, after McDonald’s and KFC. The first restaurant was opened in Cluj-Napoca, and since 2013 Salad Box has developed a franchise system based on clear procedures and a scalable business model, which allowed a rapid expansion of the business at a national and international level.
Today, Salad Box has 37 restaurants (34 in Romania, three in Germany and Hungary) and over 500 employees. The company’s turnover in 2015 was 14 million euros.
Salad Box communication - from the beginnings to present
Since the first day of activity we made a statement through our products, we communicated the transition of salad from a side dish to the main course. Marketing on the other hand, especially in the first years, was kept to a minimum. At the beginning, our strategy was to occupy the main locations in the country without trying to be in the spotlight, but rather concentrating on developing the concept and on the quality of the products and services.
Over the years, I realized that Salad Box is not just a product or a location, it leaves and should leave a mark on the community. Using the values of this brand as a starting point, it is possible to develop a direction in terms of diet and lifestyle in Romania. That is why our investments are long-term investments, and the most beloved and powerful of our campaigns are those that target children. The fact that we invest in children is priceless. I am also an ambassador of Jamie Oliver in Romania, and I would like, both through this “position” and through our company, to take care of the future generations. To steer them in the right, healthy, direction, in terms of diet and lifestyle.
It is our duty to return and to invest in the society certain resources (money, time), but not anyhow. However, if the reason is only to create a good image for the company, we might as well drop it. I don’t believe in people and companies that invest in CRS campaigns simply because they are necessary. We invest a lot in this direction, but, in most cases, we don’t want to make it public. We prefer to occupy most of our time with actions and not with talking.
In the past few years we have had a very large quantitative growth in a short time. I believe that this way we could soon become market leaders on the Romanian food market (in number of locations). However, we want to have an increase in quality more than an increase in quantity. Here I’m talking about location design, products, services and the customer experience in our restaurants. With the recent rebranding, we can have an even more solid base and a greater impact in the community. The new tagline, “Food is life. Make it good” and the new brand values make us achieve even more.
One of the youngest and most successful Romanian entrepreneurs
The tenth restaurant in Bucharst is part of the franchise launched in 2012 in Cluj-Napoca and the result of a 70,000 euros investment
Last year I was honored to receive from Ernst & Young the title of “Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year“. Indeed, life can be bring advantages when you run the operations of a brand targeting mainly a young audience. Each period in life has its own strengths. When you are young you have a lot of energy, ambition and will to succeed, on the other hand you are inexperienced. The fact that both my partners (editor’s note: Radu Lupas, Daniel Lar and Vlad Lupas) and I are part of our customers’ generation is an important asset, because it is easier to anticipate their desires and needs. The smaller the age gap is, the faster and more genuine the connection. The assumptions and suppositions regarding our customers’ needs are replaced by our own experience and vision.
Radu Lupaș, COO Salad Box, Sorin Bulai, investor and Dan Isai, CEO Salad Box
Social media – the key channel for a direct communication with our customers
80% of our customers are people between 20 and 35, who work in corporations, in particular in the IT industry. These are the people who use the Internet on a daily basis and most of them are active on social media. This is a very important communication channel for us, as an indicator of the Salad Box image, through which any information reaches rapidly to and from our customers.
Clear and tested procedures for employee training
Many of the good ideas we have put into practice came from the employees. A large number of our employees came from Salad Box customers, which is definitely a plus from us. All the procedures implemented in the franchises were tested initially in our own restaurants, which are in strategic geographic locations in Romania, in order to have a real feedback in terms of their nationwide applicability.
Different communication approaches on the other European markets
Salad Box operations have currently expanded in two other European countries: Germany and Hungary. However, there are positive signals regarding an expansion beyond the borders of Europe.
The two countries where we have expanded so far have provided us with interesting experiences, we have adapted our communication messages to be closely connected with the specificity of the population we are addressing. We need to take into account the culture, the level of culinary education, age, religion, purchase power etc. We chose to keep the principles and values we have regardless of the market on which we operate. However, the objectives, the strategies through which we reach these objectives, the communication and the products need to be adapted.
In the franchise system we have created the presence of procedures is vital. But, besides communication procedures and paths, it is important to offer flexibility and to adapt to the region our employees are from. There are differences in approach from area to area for certain procedures. On the other hand, there are elements, in particular related to the company’s values and principles, that we wish to keep, regardless of region, employees, customer etc.
We cannot ensure this adaptation to the local market by ourselves, only with the help of the local partner. Since we are a business that sells franchises, the most important and the most hard to find for us is the right partner, because he represents our image on that territory. Each partner becomes our brand ambassador.
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Prize in 2015, awarded to
Dan Isai - CEO at Salad Box
In its annual competition EY designated Dan Isai CEO of Salad Box, the winner of the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 prize. The company he’s leading has quickly put its mark on the market, proving in just a few years that its business model is highly appreciated.
Salad Box started with a small team, which Dan could count on his fingertips, yet in only three years he ended up coordinating a large team, at a national level. Although the company’s size has evolved, Dan has kept a close relationship with the employees, regardless of hierarchy, which made it easy for him to pass on his vision, belief and ideas.
Growing bigger every day
In 2014, the Salad Box group recorded sales of 8.6 million euros, representing more than a 100% increase compared with 2013. Salad Box’s revenue was expected to reach 14 million euros in 2015, mainly based on selling products with an average price of 3.5 euros.
The company is currently the third largest fast-food chain in Romania, after McDonald’s and KFC, and Dan considers that the chain has the potential to reach 60 restaurants. Dan and his team already started to expand outside the country: with four locations in Hungary and a restaurant in Germany.
He also started a rebranding process recently, centered on a new tagline, “Food is Life, Make it Good”. According to Dan, the message this transmits is that you should “be careful what you choose to eat, because it make up your life”. The new tagline also delivers a valuable message to the employees: “give your best to make a good salad, because it means life”.
The rapid growth of Salad Box was also due to the reinvested profit: “We reinvested all the profit. Now I live with my wife and two daughters in a rented house, we don’t own a house with a pool, because we reinvested everything”, says Dan.
Salad Box – the beginnings
As a student, Dan started going on holidays in the USA, Italy and Australia. Interacting with different cultures, with different work environments and business ideas has helped Dan expand his horizons as a future businessman. In fact, he came out with the Salad Box business concept idea while he was working in Australia.
Yet, before Salad Box, he opened an advertising company in 2008, in a period when companies were trying to cut down costs and advertising was the first to go. The businessman learned from that experience how much it matters to launch a business at exactly the right time.
With the lessons learnt from the previous business and with relevant experience accumulated, Dan Isai started, at only 26 years, a new business, with the help of his family and friends. This business grew like Prince Charming, grounded on the increasing concern of consumers for having a healthy diet.
“Everybody does what they want and runs their business as they want, but they only do it once in life. It’s important what you leave behind. The impact the business has on the society is important. For me, it’s important that people finally have a place where they can come and have a healthy meal at an affordable price and the fact that their numbers keep growing”, he explained.
Devoted to promoting a healthy lifestyle
As Salas Box is a new concept, it is imperious for the brand to endorse its main business statement, reason why the company regularly supports sports events or actions in which food plays a central role. Dan Isai has initiated numerous campaigns to raise social awareness, sponsored by Salad Box. Among them is one that encouraged kindergartners to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
In fact, Dan is an ambassador of Jamie Oliver in Romania. This status means that he is part of an international program, aiming at raising awareness of the role a healthy diet plays in the quality of life, and active involvement in food education campaigns.
Six Romanian entrepreneurs have developed Salad Box
a network of 25 restaurants serving salads – Ziarul Financiar
Two years after its launch, Salad Box – a restaurant brand created by six entrepreneurs from Cluj, Mureș and Sălaj – has reached a number of 25 units across the country and 250 employees.
“Salad Box was born from the desire to provide an alternative to fast food meals”. This is the description of the business started in April 2012 by Dan Isai, 27, who now runs Salad Box as CEO, together with a young, proactive team. Salad Box restaurants offer a range of salads with various meat assortments, cream soups, desserts, fresh drinks and lemonades.
“Salad as the main course is a novelty, but at the same time a necessity in Romania, currently having a turnover of over 170,000 salads sold monthly, 25,000 cream soups and many complementary products”, says Dan Isai, graduate of the Faculty of Economic Sciences and former manager of a Uni Credit bank branch in Cluj.
The brand is controlled by four companies: Salad Box, Bio Box, Strident Team SRL-D and Emma Salad SRL-D. The four are the owner of the brand’s first business unit in Iulius Mall Cluj-Napoca and of the branch franchising rights. The largest of them is Emma Salad, which closed last business year with a turnover of 2.7 million lei, a profit of around 190,000 lei and 22 employees, according to the data from the Ministry of Finances.
The shareholders are Dan and Doroteea Isai, the Lar family and other two entrepreneurs. The initial investment for the first business unit, located in Iulius Mall Cluj-Napoca, was around 20,000 euros.
Salad Box is currently present in 25 locations from 13 towns, of which 12 are franchises. In Bucharest, the company has restaurants at Promenada and Afi Cotroceni malls.
“The company’s evolution also implied serious efforts in terms of investments, some units exceeding the amount of 120,000 euros”, mentions Isai.
Although the popularity of healthy food is increasing, the entrepreneurs have faced problems in regards of the Romanian’s mentality, as they were viewing salad as a side dish, not a main. The entrepreneur also says that they are having some problems with the employees, in particular in the region of Banat, as people tend to have a hard time getting settled at their working place.
Dan Isai runs the company as CEO, while Radu Lupas, who is also a shareholder, holds the position of COO. “The monthly turnover of the Salad Box brand is around 570,000 euros, so with the current structure we expect to close the financial year with a turnover of 6.5 million euros, without taking into account other potential restaurant openings by the end of the year”, Isai explained.
The company’s manager says that they are hoping to run 35 restaurants by the end of the year. The entrepreneur’s development plans also include opening restaurants in other countries.
As for granting the Salad Box franchise, Isai specified that this is conditioned more by the values of the franchisee and less by the financial aspect. “The financial aspect of the franchise involves an initial cost between 5,000 and 10,000 euros and a monthly royalty from the franchisee’s turnover. Currently, in Romania, a number of 12 franchises were granted and a few others are in the signing stage”, he added.
Ten companies received awards last week in Cluj-Napoca, at the “Business Champions”, Transylvania edition event, organized in the past five years by Ziarul Financiar together with the Enterprise Investors Fund, BCR – the largest local bank, the tax audit and consultancy company PwC and the Triple Helix foundation.
Entrepreneurs from the counties of Cluj, Timiș, Brașov, Bihor, Alba and Mureș received awards for their business performances, for the largest and most spectacular increase in turnover and employees number, as well as for those who managed to shine in a time when many companies have gone bankrupt.
The processing industry, car manufacture and retail, regardless if it’s about electronics or footwear, dominated the top of the most dynamic entrepreneurial businesses in Transylvania, a region that has shown an increased interest for business and innovation.
In the 2015 edition of the “Business Champions”, prizes were awarded for three categories: large companies (with a turnover of over 15 million euros last year), small companies (with turnovers between 3 and 15 million euros in 2014) and a special category, for “continuity”, awarder to the companies that were recognized as business champions in previous editions of this event and have continued to have significant performances.
In addition, two special prizes were awarded to companies that have shown a spectacular evolution or that have managed to gain prominence on the market. All this must be seen in a context in which multinational companies dominate important markets in Romania.
In the large companies category of “Business Champions” in Transylvania, companie from various industries received awards: the furniture manufacturer Rus-Savitar from Timiș, footwear retailer Benvenuti from Bihor and Visual Fan from Brașov, whose portfolio includes the Romanian brand of telephones and tablets Allview.
In the small companies category, this year’s champions were: Rapid Diagnostic Clinic from Brașov, Agasi company from Timiș (plumbing works) and Agrosel from Cluj, a vegetable and flower seed retailer.
The manufacturer of machine tools Emsil Techtrans from Bihor county and the manufacturer of tractors, farming and forestry equipment Irum from Mureș received awards for business continuity. These two companies have stood the test of time and the “storm” caused by the world economic crisis and have achieved businesses of 10 million euros each.
“We need models in the business world, as well as real models, for whom the results speak out first, then the entrepreneurs start talking”, says Irina Anghel-Enescu, founder and chairwoman of the Triple Helix Foundation.
Albalact from Alba county, company that became last year the leader of the dairy market in Romania, and Salad Box from Cluj, which in three years became the leader of the healthy food restaurants segment and also the largest chain of restaurants in Romania, with around 40 units, received special prizes for their vision.
“In the dairy products category, only high-profile players are in the top eight largest companies, companies we used to look up to 15 years ago, but which we managed to exceed last year. I am always glad when there are Romanian companies capable of this performance”, says Raul Ciurtin, president of Albalact Group, with business turnovers of over 100 million euros.
“Business Champions” brought together for the fifth year in a row the most important entrepreneurs in the region, thus managing to be one step closer to solving one of the greatest flaws of the local entrepreneurial environment, namely the low networking level of the Romanian businessmen.
At the same time, this month the business champions from the region of Moldova received awards. In the upcoming period the most dynamic companies from Muntenia will receive their awards in Bucharest.
The selection of business champions took into account several criteria that had to be met, besides the turnover: gross profit in 2014, a minimum of 10 employees throughout last year, and no involvement in activities related to tobacco, alcohol, gambling, betting or other industry with potential ethical impact.
In addition, for each eligible company, the score was calculated based on four quantity criteria, which rewarded financial performance and consistency in achieving it: evolution of turnover and EBITDA index, operational margin and number of employees. A series of quality criteria were also taken into account, namely the added value in the economy and society, export activities and innovation in terms of business model, products and services.
Article published in the printed issue of Ziarul Financiar from 2nd November 2015.