"Single? Addicted to salad?" asks the new dating app SaladMatch by Just Salad, which attempts to turn salad lovers into real-life lovers, just one of a growing trend of dating apps based on food preferences. The app uses a series of questions on salad preferences to suggest matches with other good-looking herbivores, and if the two mutually approve, the app sets them up with a conversation and, hopefully, a salad date.
Though the mobile app is a new venture for Just Salad, the New York, create-your-own-salad store has been targeting the single, leaf-obsessed market for a while. To wit, a New York Magazine article from 2007 noted the rampant matchmaking at the restaurant:
A salad bar on the corner of Park Avenue and 51st Street doesn’t seem like the most obvious place for youthful romance, but on a sunny day, there’s a mob of post-collegiate suits lining up at Just Salad for takeout of leafy green veggies—and each other.
Just Salad's role as cupid for young professionals grew in 2010, too, when the company first released the dating website SaladMatch online. This new app is the mobile, upgraded take on that production, but it follows the same idea that forms the company's base strategy: to make going out for salad as ubiquitous as going out for drinks. As one female customer said in that 2007 New York Magazine article, "Everyone in my office was talking about this new salad place with the hot owners, so there’s why I came here—the hot boys!" Even in the business of shredded lettuce, sex sells.
SaladMatch isn't the first to try to capitalize on the connections between food and love. Chef Jamie Oliver worked with Match.com for a dating foodie site a few years ago. Whole Foods also functions as a dating meet-up spot for those health-conscious individuals seeking like-minded lovers of all things organic. "Peeking into each other's grocery carts, they said, could also be more revealing of a person's lifestyle choices than an online profile on a social networking or dating Web site," wrote The New York Sun in 2007. And then there's the more obscure food/dating crossovers, sites like GlutenFreeSingles.com for those averse to gluten, the muy caliente HotSaucePassions.com, vegan-friendly VeggieDate.org, and general interest SamePlate.
Sadly, SaladMatch doesn't yet have any ratings in the App Store. For our part, we can't fathom why no one has yet created a dating site for lovers of pizza.
(Photo of couple with drinks and salad Dragon Images via Shutterstock; Photo of app by Salad Match.)