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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Nrich Urban Market brings healthy ​philosophy to students

Rebecca Noble
Nrich Urban Market will offer healthy eating options in the Student Union Memorial Center beginning in March. The menu includes fresh juice, nut butters, frozen treats and many others.

Nrich Urban Market just opened its doors before spring break at the Student Union Memorial Center. The Pinkberry replacement boasts a new design and claims a focus on providing healthier options for students and staff at the UA.

Nrich’s new menu features fresh-pressed juices, natural ground-nut butters, infused waters, brewed teas and botanicals, frozen yogurt, healthy to-go snacks and a supply of fresh seasonal produce.

The market also displays vertical gardens set up throughout the space that showcase the unique methods used to grow wholesome fruits and vegetables.

The Daily Wildcat caught up with Christine Carlson, registered dietitian and assistant director of nutrition at the Arizona Student Unions, to find out more about the inspiration behind opening Nrich Urban Market.

“Nrich is actually our nutrition philosophy; I had developed the philosophy and it lived for about six months or so, and it really wasn’t getting anywhere,” Carlson said. “We decided to make Nrich Urban Market, which would be an area that would highlight that nutrition philosophy.”

This nutrition philosophy is based on the value of including in one’s diet whole grains to increase fiber and nutrients, incorporating healthy monounsaturated and omega-3 fats and seasoning food with fresh spices and herbs in order to cut down on the excessive use of salt during preparation. 

Nrich works to provide locally-sourced, plant-based meals and create a truly transparent menu so students can see exactly where their food is coming from.

RELATED: Cooking on Campus brings healthy eats

The food students will see at Nrich is exclusively created by the Student Unions’ executive chef and registered dietitian with the purpose of continuing to emphasize the significance of incorporating good nutrition decisions into daily consideration.

“It’s all registered dietitian-approved food,” Carlson said. “We try and make sure that it’s very clean-label, nutrient-rich and also tastes good. We really wanted to make sure of that, because if it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t matter how good for you it is.”

Another key feature of the market is its accommodation of those with food allergies, especially celiac disease and its provisions of a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options. This is important for many students and faculty members who may have trouble finding food on campus that fully meets their dietary needs.

Since Nrich is a tangible application of the Nrich nutrition philosophy. The restaurant makes a point of promoting the Student Unions’ upcoming nutritional classes and workshops that help students and faculty members reach their health goals. 

Many of these resources are provided through Campus Recreation and can be found on their website at

“I think the feedback has been really great,” Carlson said. “Students, faculty and staff are very excited about the options that we have; so I can see [Nrich] continuing to thrive and being seen in other areas as well. We try to highlight the healthier options, but I think people don’t really see it unless it’s in their face.”

RELATED: Arizona Student Unions explain why there’s only one gluten-free option on campus

Nrich has been advertised around campus in the months leading up to its grand opening, which has increased the response from community members who want to find a healthy place on campus where they can consistently rely on the availability of healthy foods.

“Our team was the one that created the look of [Nrich], and it was approved through Christine,” said Neysha Aguilar, marketing and communications manager for the Student Unions. “We’re really pushing for businesses to be aware of this awesome gem that opened up, and social media has been doing a great job at that.”

For more information about the nutritional advancements being made by Nrich and other programs at the UA, visit

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