Concession stands can be a crucial element to any school event, because clubs and sports teams often use them to generate revenue for their program. Concession foods, however, tend to be high in fat, sugar, sodium, and calories. Many Booster Clubs worry that introducing healthy foods will increase food costs, decrease sales, and be met with resistance from patrons. Read on to learn how healthy options can successfully be incorporated...
An Iowa pilot study showed the Muscatine High School Booster Club was able to make their concession stands healthier by utilizing the following two techniques:
- Modify the ingredients of popular items to contain less saturated and trans fats. Keep the existing favorites but purchase alternatives that contain lower levels of fat (total, saturated, and trans), sugar, sodium, or calories, thereby providing healthier options. For example, purchasing baked potato chips will lower the fat content, or buying nacho cheese that has 0g of trans fat or that has less sodium can be a stealthy way to make concession stand favorites healthier.
- Offer 5-10 healthy food options. Introduce healthier items and promote them. For example, string cheese, apples, and bananas are healthier offerings that don’t cost too much. The Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina team offers great tips on how to improve the nutritional quality of the foods served at a concession stand without decreasing profit!
The Muscatine High school pilot study showed that students didn’t notice a difference in the foods sold even though favorites, like pizza and nachos, were stealthily made healthier. Furthermore, results showed that parents' satisfaction with the new, healthy products was significantly improved. Finally, revenue remained essentially unchanged, suggesting that concession stands can be made healthier without hurting sales!