Will Americans go for fast fruit instead of fast food?


McD-ed out and want something lean on the go?

Edible Arrangements, the fruit bouquet guys, made their foray into the quick-service sector this month, selling juices, salads, smoothies and dipped fruits to customers in a hurry. Frutation stores are locating themselves near high foot-traffic areas and existing Edible Arrangement stores. They are butting heads with Jamba Juice, Qdoba and of course the burger giants.

It may be the next logical step for a company that sustains itself selling perishable food. And with all the talk about insurance companies shying away from overweight clients, healthy is definitely trendy. But, in a hemorrhaging economy, dwindling disposable income and an already saturated quick-service food market, launching something new is quite the bold move.

The company does seem to be on a growth spurt; it has more than 900-locations and shows no sign of slowing down The goal is to touch the 1,000 mark by 2010, an Edible Arrangements spokeswoman said in an email.

There are already 20 Frutation stores since its debut, and plans are underway to open more stores in Massachusetts and Virginia.

Here's a peek at the menu: FruZees (iced fruit beverages) are $3.95 and $5.95; FruSalads (greens with fruits etc) are $6.95; and FruSalsas(pita with fresh fruit dipping sauce) are priced at $4.95.

The price seems on target. But will the fast fruit habit grow on Americans and turn them away from their burgers and fries? Only time will tell.