|Durham Bulls Promote Healthy Eating with Concessions|
The Durham County Health Department distributed the following press release in early August, celebrating the Durham Bulls efforts to provide healthier food choices to their fans.
Durham Bulls lead national trend by offering healthy snack foods at concession stands
And the fans love it. Durham Bulls unveil membership in The Winner’s Circle Healthy Dining program with this summer’s homestands.
(Durham, NC) “Take me out to the ballgame” is now more than peanuts, popcorn and cracker jacks. This year, a growing number of Durham Bull’s fans are choosing healthy options over traditional gameday favorites.
The ballpark is now one of a growing number of food operations in North Carolina to join the Winner’s Circle Healthy Dining Program, a state-sponsored initiative dedicated to helping consumers easily identify healthy foods when eating away from home.
Ballpark managers report that fans are literally eating it up.
“Winner’s Circle options are now offered at seven of the ballpark’s nine concession stands,” said Jamie Jenkins, who runs the park’s food operations, “and demand has greatly exceeded our expectations.”
Fans can enjoy Winner’s Circle choices such as grilled chicken sandwiches; soft pretzels; turkey subs; yogurt, fresh fruit and granola parfaits; garden salads; fresh fruit cups; and bottled water.
“At first it seemed a little absurd for a ballpark to be showcasing healthy items,” said Jenkins, “but then we realized that several foods already qualified.”
George Habel, General Manager for the Durham Bulls, added: “We’re working on developing even more healthy food options. In AAA baseball, we’re number four in the country in concession sales, so we take that part of our business very seriously. We’re serious about fun food…but see a growing demand for healthy options. Figuring out how to provide those healthy options is very important to us.”
Habel added that, of course, traditional ballpark foods are still available, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “What we want to do is provide options,” he said.
Fans can see healthy items highlighted by Winner’s Circle star & fork logo stickers on menu boards. Banners, designed with local partner – the Durham County Health Department Nutrition Division, have been hung at food vendor stalls and carts that state “Look for the star & fork logo throughout the ballpark for healthy choices.” Additional promotional activities include mention of ballpark Winner’s Circle healthy choices in game PA and matrix board announcements as well as radio ads.
NC Prevention Partners, housed in the NC Institute of Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill, developed the Winner’s Circle Healthy Dining Program with support from Start With Your Heart and the Physical Activity and Nutrition Unit of the NC Division of Public Health. The Winner’s Circle uses it’s “Star & Fork” logo to help diners select options that fit the nutritional guidelines recommended by the FDA, USDA, American Heart Association, and the American Dietetic Association. Local health agencies facilitate the program at the county level.