Concession Stand Makeovers: A Pilot Study of Offering Healthy Foods at High School Concession Stands

Journal of Public Health (2014)

9 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2014

See all articles by Helena Laroche

Helena Laroche

University of Iowa

Christopher Ford

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Kate Hansen

Independent

Xueya Cai

University of Rochester

David R. Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Andrew Hanks

The Ohio State University

Brian Wansink

Retired

Date Written: March 12, 2014

Abstract

Background: Concession stands at high school events are exempt from the US Department of Agriculture regulations for school foods. Concessions are generally stocked with unhealthy foods since healthy foods are believed to have lower sales and profit margins.

Methods: Concession stand sales for two seasons of high school fall sports in Muscatine, Iowa were compared. In between seasons, two types of changes were made: (i) addition of new healthier concession options and (ii) substitution of healthier ingredients (less saturated fat, no trans fat). Satisfaction surveys of students and parents were conducted before and after the changes. Data were collected in 2008 and 2009 and analyzed in 2012–13.

Results: Revenue per game was similar between years, even with the introduction of healthier items and ingredient changes. In 2009, the new healthy foods comprised 9.2% of total revenue and sales of some new items increased with each game. The ‘healthy makeover’ had no influence on student satisfaction but it improved parent satisfaction (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This compelling test of concept shows that offering healthier items can be good for both sales and satisfaction. While this study was conducted with concession stands, the principles can be carried over into other food retail settings.

Keywords: children, food and nutrition, public health

Suggested Citation

Laroche, Helena and Ford, Christopher and Hansen, Kate and Cai, Xueya and Just, David R. and Hanks, Andrew and Wansink, Brian, Concession Stand Makeovers: A Pilot Study of Offering Healthy Foods at High School Concession Stands (March 12, 2014). Journal of Public Health (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2474204

Helena Laroche

University of Iowa ( email )

341 Schaeffer Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States

Christopher Ford

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Kate Hansen

Independent ( email )

Xueya Cai

University of Rochester ( email )

300 Crittenden Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14627
United States

David R. Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States
607-255-2086 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

Andrew Hanks

The Ohio State University ( email )

130A Campbell Hall
1787 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

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