Acai why an obsession exists, but I can’t get behind it.

With acai bowls, there’s a spectrum between the obsessed lovers and radical haters. Some people could eat an acai bowl for every meal and live full and happy lives. Others are nowhere near understanding the obsession, or find any worth in even trying one out. I fall somewhere in the in-between. Since I’m neither obsessed nor disgusted by what is essentially a smoothie in a bowl, I created a pros and cons list to better understand the absurdity surrounding the polarized opinions of the acai bowl trend.

 

PROS

CONS

Delicious, relatively low in calorie, on the healthy side because it’s mostly fruit

Essentially a snack, because it’s not a meal unless you weigh as little as my left arm

You can pretend it’s ice cream

It’s not actually ice cream

Amazon bowl from the University of Miami farmer’s market 😍

Acai Primo bowl from Jamba Juice 😒
Fills you up quickly because it’s mostly water

You are starving about 45 minutes later

Looks good on your Instagram feed

Is it worth it just for the Instagram?

If you walk into Green Life in your Lululemon clothing having just come from Orange Theory, your friends will envy your healthy and trendy lifestyle

Lululemon leggings and the Orange Theory monthly fee are expensive, and so are most acai bowls so maybe reconsider your life choices for a sec

Next, I did some research. I asked my friends – the target market of the acai bowl ridiculousness – why they either like or dislike acai bowls. Many of their answers concurred with my thoughts.

Sara, 20, University of Miami student, says “they taste like froyo but they are a healthy option.”

Like I mentioned in my personal pros and cons list, Sara agrees that one can easily pretend it’s ice cream because of the consistency and flavor. While it may be healthier than a trip to Whip n Dip, you are doing your heart a disservice. It’s almost like the kale cookies dilemma. Why eat an acai bowl just to pretend it’s frozen yogurt, when you can just go get frozen yogurt and live life on the edge.

Jamie, 19, Ohio State University student, says “I hate them. People eat them because other people eat them.”

Melissa, 20, Syracuse University student, says “I think that people would never enjoy them if they couldn’t take a picture or if it wasn’t trendy.”

There is no doubt that acai bowls are a trend. Many of us are guilty of purchasing one for lunch just to get the opportunity to post it on social media. Before the fad really caught on, in December 2015, I remember having to drive 35 minutes out of the way to get one near my home in New Jersey (and it wasn’t worth it after almost accidentally driving over the George Washington Bridge, which was terrifying). As of this past December, there are now 5 different places within 8 minutes of my house in every direction that specialize in acai bowls. For some – me, included – the phone eats first, so sometimes you just have to join the crowd.

In this above Instagram, my friends and I planned our beach day around getting acai bowls for lunch. They were delicious, but then we had to go back to our cooler and eat every other snack we brought immediately after, due to continuing hunger.

Alex, 19, George Washington University student, says “I like them and the way they taste but I don’t like them because people think it’s like the healthiest snack ever but it’s really not because the granola adds so much sugar and bitches are dumb.”

Chris, 20, University of Miami student, says “I hate them cause they taste like shit and are super expensive.”

Lastly, while I may not agree on the first part, Chris has a point. Acai bowls are crazily overpriced. The average cost for a bowl is anywhere from $8-15, and for something that doesn’t satisfy your hunger, it does seem unreasonable.


All in all, the acai bowl obsession is multifaceted. You have to ask yourself – are people eating them because they truly enjoy it and want nothing more than to eat fruit water with a dash of granola or is it just because it’s trendy? I can’t fully get behind the movement because I relate to every con as much as I do pro. Until acai bowls go out of style, I will continue eating them in moderation for reasons of enjoyment somewhat unknown.

UPDATE: I had to say goodbye to my favorite acai bowl from the University of Miami Farmer’s Market this past week until September, and I was more emotional than anticipated. This beautiful, and definitely not filling, lunch item got me thinking that I may like acai bowls more than I lead on. The health benefits of getting fresh fruit on a consistent basis makes me more excited for Wednesdays than knowing I get three new #TGIT shows every Thursday. This is a new realization and I’m beginning to think I may fall more on the “obsessed” side of the spectrum.

Until Fall, old pal.

Have you never eaten an acai bowl? Do you have strong convictions about the trend? Leave your opinions in the comments below.

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