From restaurant cuisine to PB&J: Lettuce Entertain You teams up with with nut-butter-and-jam packaged food startup

From restaurant cuisine to PB&J: Lettuce Entertain You teams up with with nut-butter-and-jam packaged food startup

Chicago Tribune |
Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz |
Jan 17, 2019
Original Article: "From restaurant cuisine to PB&J: Lettuce Entertain You teams up with with nut-butter-and-jam packaged food startup"

In its first foray into packaged foods, Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is partnering with a snack startup that sells nut-butter-and-jam packs to the nutrition-conscious crowd.

Split Nutrition, launched last year, was co-founded by two longtime Lettuce Entertain You partners: chef Jeff Mahin, the creative force behind a number of Lettuce restaurants including Stella Barra Pizzeria and Summer House Santa Monica, and Chris Meers, divisional president of numerous concepts including Mon Ami Gabi, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba and RPM Steak.

They teamed up with Los Angeles performance nutritionist Philip Goglia to develop an on-the-go snack that combines “one good fat and one good carb” to achieve “peak performance and sustained energy,” Mahin says on Split’s website.

Lettuce Entertain You, a multiconcept restaurant operator, will invest “time and resources to help support the growth of Split” and carry the brand’s products at some of its locations, including all of its Beatrix Markets, Foodease in Water Tower Place and the market at Summer House Santa Monica in the Lincoln Park community area. The venture is Lettuce’s first outside the restaurant world and with a consumer packaged goods brand, the company said. Lettuce Entertain You did not disclose the financial terms of the partnership.

Split’s snack packets, which tout using only four to six ingredients, tap into the growing popularity of nut butters as a source of energy and healthy fats while embracing a staple of American childhood. Its packaged duos come in peanut butter and grape jelly, almond butter and raspberry spread, peanut butter and blueberry spread, and almond butter and strawberry spread.

Chicago-based RxBar, whose success with protein bars prompted its $600 million acquisition by cereal giant Kellogg, also sells nut butter packets with minimal ingredients, though it does not pair them with jams.

The backing by Lettuce Entertain You founder Rich Melman, a massively successful force in Chicago’s dining scene since he launched R.J. Grunt’s in 1971, is a big lift for the startup.

“Lettuce Entertain You has always been a school for entrepreneurs, so when two of my longtime partners developed the idea for Split, I was thrilled to be a part of it,” Melman said in a news release. “I always say that the most important thing in food is great taste, and with Split, Chris and Jeff have created a unique and great tasting product that uses healthy, quality ingredients.”

Split’s products are currently available mostly in California, in Erewhon organic grocers as well as some cycling and running stores, according to its website. It plans to expand into Whole Foods Market, among other national retailers.

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-878-7340

You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: A Glimpse Into the Lettuce Entertain You Test Kitchen with Chef and Partner Rita Dever
Mar 24, 2019

People always ask us, “Where do all of the new restaurant and dish ideas come from?” Meet…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in Las Vegas
May 24, 2019

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Treat yourself to happy hour on The Strip at one of our Lettuce Entertain…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in the D.C. Metro Area
May 24, 2019

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at our D.C. metro area restaurants, from…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in Los Angeles
May 24, 2019

The workday is done, so grab your friends and co-workers and head to Stella Barra in Santa Monica or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in Chicago
May 24, 2019

TGI- (insert day of the week here)! Here are all the happy hour deals available at Lettuce Entertain…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in the Twin Cities
May 24, 2019

Happy Hour is even better when the drinks and food are half off! Treat yourself after work at one of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2019: Chicago
May 24, 2019

On Monday, May 27, our Chicago restaurants will honor Memorial Day with brunch, lunch and dinner…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2019: Metro D.C. Area
May 24, 2019

On Monday, May 27, our Metro D.C. area restaurants will observe Memorial Day with brunch, lunch and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2019: Las Vegas
May 24, 2019

Our Las Vegas restaurants will honor Memorial Day on Monday, May 27 with brunch, lunch and dinner…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2019: Twin Cities
May 24, 2019

On Monday, May 27, our Twin Cities restaurants will honor Memorial Day with lunch and dinner…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2019: Los Angeles
May 24, 2019

Our Los Angeles restaurants are honoring Memorial Day on Monday, May 27 with brunch, lunch and…

read more >
How To
VIDEO: How To Mix Up Joe’s Clevelander Cocktail
May 21, 2019

Whether you're looking to impress guests at your next cocktail party, or simply want to shake things…

read more >
In The Restaurants
5 Chef-Approved Ways to Enjoy Spring Produce
May 20, 2019

Spring's showers have given way to flowers and we couldn't be happier to welcome warm(er)…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now