Photo by Tom Sharrow/

As our collective health knowledge evolves with the years, consumer habits change. Companies must adjust with the times. Noodles & Company, which had a strong debut in the nineties with continued success into the two-thousands, hit a road bump recently as consumers began cutting carbs.

Fighting public perception

These days, the most successful companies keep the health of consumers in mind. Noodles & Company has seen a drop in sales because the public perception is that a company focusing solely on noodles and pasta can’t be healthy. As consumers demand more low-carb options, there isn’t much room for a pasta joint.

Consumers aren’t wrong. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, white-flour pasta delivers a high-glycemic load, which can have deleterious health effects. High-glycemic foods can cause powerful spikes in blood sugar. This can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, and more. No wonder consumers are steering clear of carb-heavy foods that cause blood sugar spikes.1

On their website, Noodles & Company touts options for gluten-free, low-calorie, low-sugar, and low-sodium meals. They include a full ingredient list, along with a list of prohibited ingredients such as MSG’s, aspartame, parabens, high-fructose corn syrup, and more. They point out that they don’t use artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

The role of low-carb diets

The rise of the paleo and ketogenic diets have proven to be a challenge for the pasta chain. How many Americans follow a low-carb diet isn’t well known, but the shift is certainly felt by Noodles & Company, which had to close 60 underperforming restaurants in 2017.

Other restaurant chains have responded to the need for low-carb options. Jersey Mike’s allows consumers to order their “sub in a tub,” meaning they can order their submarine ingredients in a bowl without the bun. Other sandwich shops, such as Subway, have followed suit. Chipotle makes it easy to order low-carb meals with their salads and burrito bowls. According to Healthline, you can order a salad from Chipotle with chicken or meat and add grilled vegetables and guacamole for only 14 grams of total carbs, 8 of which are fiber.2 Panera, whose foods are typically high in carbs, is now offering a low-carb breakfast menu that features eggs, meat, and vegetables.

The move to save Noodles: Zoodles

In order to change the perception that Noodles & Company isn’t a healthy choice, the chain has decided to roll out a new option: zoodles! Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini and have become an increasingly popular option in place of grain-based pasta. Along with the introduction of zoodles, Noodles & Company is introducing leaner options to attract the low-carb consumer base. They’ve already seen improvements in sales that have boosted their stock to higher levels than it’s seen in five years.

Noodles & Company plans to continue to offer healthier choices and attract consumers that have avoided them in the past. After all, who doesn’t love a delicious noodle bowl? Consumers just want it to fit their health goals.


The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.

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