From Fad to Fortune: How Superfoods Became a Billion-Dollar Industry

BY Gabriela Reyes


Remember when kale was everywhere as it was labeled a “superfood,” and the fad took off with health-conscious consumers looking to fill up with the 17 nutrients it contains? The same can be said for oats, which have remained a popular milk alternative at cafes. Avocado toast at its peak was on every breakfast menu and jokingly blamed for the financial status of millennials. Salmon, or rather the fish oil, omega 3, rose to popularity, so many can identify the large liquid pills down the vitamin aisle. The Brazilian berry, acai, is another food included in this category. However, it has stood the test of time as multiple shops countrywide offer the delicious bowl on their menus and undoubtedly celebrate National Acai Bowl Day. 

In its native Brazil, acai fruit started as a base for desserts, with several natural sugars coming from the berries. Carlos Gracie created the modern acai bowl in the 1980s with additional fruits and toppings such as granola that he began to serve divers. In the late 1990s, three Americans brought the superfood into the US market leading the 2000s boom with their now well-established and household-named brand, Sambazon. To indulge in an antioxidant dessert-like bowl and honor today’s holiday, we have made a list of hot spots to try. 

Whole Sol

7 Colorado Locations
1735 Chestnut Pl, Denver, CO 80202

Superfruit Republic  

4 Colorado Locations
1776 Broadway #115, Denver, CO 80202


3712 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
1525 Raleigh St #110, Denver, CO 80204

Here are some chains that attest to the success and demand of acai bowls nationwide.

Rush Bowls

6 Colorado Locations
1580 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202

Playa Bowls

99 S Broadway Suite 115, Denver, CO 80209
5845 W 25th Ave, Edgewater, CO 80214

Nekter Juice Bar

5 Colorado Locations
700 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80206


Gabriela Reyes

Gaby has been part of the Denver/Boulder food scene since 2015 when she moved to Colorado. While gradually losing her ability to eat due to six years of misdiagnosed food allergies, she became fascinated with the culinary scene. Gaby, aka The Restaurant Encyclopedia, has been DiningOut’s restaurant coordinator for food festivals since 2017 and joined the editorial team in 2022.

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