Qdoba tests Mexican Cauliflower Mash as low-carb rice substitute

Greater Indianapolis selected as test market

Qdoba Mexican Eats began testing a Mexican Cauliflower Mash in the Greater Indianapolis market. The 23-unit test will help vet this low-carb alternative to rice. The Qdoba Mexican Cauliflower Mash comes from a blend of cauliflower that’s oven-roasted in-store, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, and sour cream.

At the test stores, guests will have the option to create their burritos and bowls with the Mexican Cauliflower Mash. As part of the test, Qdoba also added a new Cauli-Mash Low-Carb Chicken Bowl, pairing Mexican Cauliflower Mash with grilled adobo chicken and fajita veggies.

“Our new Mexican Cauliflower Mash gives people just what they are seeking: a healthier option instead of rice that is still full of flavor,” said Karin Silk, Qdoba vice president of menu and off-premises.

Qdoba executives are one step behind Chipotle Mexican Grill in testing a cauliflower-based option, as they acknowledge the opportunity of low-carb lifestyles. Cauliflower product sales grew by 71 percent in 2019, according to Nielsen data included in the statement from San Diego-based Qdoba.

Competitor Chipotle began a test of its Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice in July. Last year, it also launched lifestyle bowls, which address the needs of diet-centric lifestyles, including Keto.


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