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The secret’s in the bowl

Chicken burrito bowl

Since 1985 I have been on a journey to feed our nation’s most vulnerable through innovative approaches and high-quality products. In my 40+ years working as a food service manager, researcher, and chef, I have experimented with different types of natural foods, herbs, and spices to explore and identify a variety of taste sensations with the goal of creating highly flavored, satisfying meal bowls that meet all USDA nutrition requirements.

Flavor combinations

After many years of travelling, working with a variety of partners, chefs, and my culinary team to finally package these delicious combinations, we decided to give a title to the secret in these meal bowls — Voila! The 7 Evolutionary Taste Sensations. Most people are familiar with 5 or 6 taste sensations, but we found that there are now 7 prominent sensations that not only stimulate the appetite but make most meals enjoyable in today’s foodie-obsessed world.

3 bean chilli bowl

So, what makes up the 7 Evolutionary Taste Sensations you ask? Here’s the interesting answer. The taste sensations are broken down into 7 categories with a few nuances– sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent,pungent (hot), and umami (meaty/savory). Some experts believe there are even more taste sensations, but they are more commonly associated with how our brains process things like cooling and heating reactions from chemicals in certain foods, like the cooling effect of mint in your mouth for example.

Dressed sweet potato casserole

Over the next 6 weeks, we will be diving into each category and giving you tips for creating quick meals, snacks, and wellness treatments that combine and exploit these different taste sensations and the exciting foods they represent. You will also get the chance to share and read testimonial blogs from some of our many partners who have enjoyed these taste sensations while eating Kai Vida’s superfood meals and snacks.

Assorted D’happy cakes

We live by the principle that every individual not only has the right to food but to enjoy healthy and tasty meals. With that realization, we saw a need for easy-to-make, tasty, affordable, and nutrient-rich food options, and thus came up with a straightforward and swift process to make our meals – you just add water, heat, and eat or serve.

Assorted D’happy cakes

Assorted D’happy cakes

The process to develop our meals was broken down into 2 categories –researching and testing. These popular meals are a result of feedback collected from our many customers from our benevolent feeding programs as well as our regular clients. Our meals are a collection of traditional and family recipes combined with years of food research from different cultures ranging from African and Latin cuisines and everything in between.

Dressed collard greens

While developing any of our meals, like the famous and tasty chicken or beef & bean burrito bowls, we ask ourselves two essential questions: have we included the necessary nutrients? And, do the meals evoke at least 5 of the 7 evolutionary taste sensations?

Savory vegan collard greens

For example, our Burrito Bowls are a savory combination of nutrient-rich proteins (umami), farm-fresh vegetables (sweet, bitter, sour), whole grains (cooling), and a flavorful combination of herbs and spices (salty, sweet, sour, and pungent). We use this technique while preparing all of our meals and recipes and will share them weekly to help you create healthy and cost-effective culinary sensations for your foodservice program.

Raspberry chocolate cake

We are excited to have you onboard and hope you will continue to join us over the next few weeks as we dive deeper into each taste sensation. Our goal is to provide you with delicious, quick, and easy recipes and certifiable food choices to improve your feeding programs. In the meantime, feel free to check out our meals and snack offerings on our website at

Welcome Aboard!

With so much love,

Helena Shorter-Alston

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