Youth Sports Concessions That Are Healthy And Profitable Turning A Healthy Profit While Turning Out Healthier Kids Lyle McCoon, Jr. Athletics Director Nicholasville/Jessamine County Parks & Recreation Obesity Among Our Children In addition to the 16 percent of children and teens ages 6 to 19 who were overweight in 1999-2002, another 15 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight (a BMI-for-age between the 85th and 95th percentiles). The Situation At Home The Situation At Home, cont. The Situation At Home, cont. ―Our daughter is getting into this tendency of drinking large diet cokes. I'm not sure where she picked this up from but it's getting hard to get her to drink anything else. For all of you who don't realize it (mom) I'm just kidding—it's a medium!‖ We start them younger and younger The Situation At School Among schools that allow students to purchase snack foods or beverages from vending machines or at the school store, canteen, or snack bar . . . - 20% have fruits or vegetables available for purchase. - 67% have 100% fruit juice available for purchase - 95% have bottled water available for purchase. - 2% do not allow students to purchase candy; high fat snacks; or soft drinks, sports drinks, or fruit drinks that are not 100% juice during school lunch periods. The Situation At School, cont. A nationwide survey of vending machines in middle schools and high schools found that 75% of the drinks and 85% of the snacks sold are of poor nutritional value Of the drinks sold in the 13,650 vending-machine slots surveyed, 70% were sugary drinks such as soda, juice drinks with less than 50% juice, iced tea, and ―sports‖ drinks. Of the sodas, only 14% were diet, and only 12% of the drinks available were water. Just 5% of drink options were milk but of those, most (57%) were high-fat whole or 2% milk. Of the snack foods sold in the machines, candy (42%), chips (25%) and sweet baked goods (13%) accounted for 80% of the options. Of 9,723 snack slots in all the vending machines surveyed, only 26 slots contained fruits or vegetables. The Situation At Our Concession Stands!?! Your Concession Stand? Your Concession Stand? We Do A Great Job Fighting Obesity . . . . . . While Contributing To It Someone Needs To Take A Stand For Health! Will It Be Parks & Recreation? What Are Our Priorities? We focus a great deal of time, care, and concern to getting good coaches (and rightly so), but ignore getting good food for our concession stands Is Profit Our Main Concern? - Should it be? - But, to be realistic, it definitely is a concern of great importance What One Parks Department Decided To Do About It Nicholasville/Jessamine County Parks & Recreation’s Grand Concession Experiment Of 2005-06 Our Particular History Up until 2003-04, we had contracted out our concession stand to private individuals on a profit percentage basis – This led to accounting abuses, unreported profits, and a loss of control over the concession stand For the 2004-05 season, we tried to contract out a ―healthy snack concession stand‖ No one would agree to do it without at least being able to sell soda – ―I can’t make any money with that menu without selling soda.‖ Healthy Snack Ideas for Basketball Concessions All of the following items are either sold individually or are sold individually wrapped (thus useful for a concession stand). Also, each item is sold in individual sizes. Some of the items require refrigeration, while others would require a microwave or a toaster. Apples Bananas Raisins Fruit snacks Applesauce Fruit bowls Yogurt String cheese Snack cheeses Bagels Mini-cereal boxes Cereal Bars Fruit Bars Popcorn Granola bars Kudos Peanuts Cheez-its Rice cakes Cracker sandwiches Goldfish crackers Sunflower seeds (w/o shells) Juice boxes Capri-sun Bottled Water Gatorade Smoothies Hot dogs Lunchables Packaged lunch meat (like Carl Budding) Slim Jims Beef Jerky Chef Boyardee mini-meals Jello Cups Pudding Cups Fruit Roll-ups Pop tarts Our Particular History, cont. Since no one would agree to do it, we simply did not offer concessions – Our participants and families were not really happy about this, nor were our Parks board members (due to the loss of revenue) We decided this past season to offer a healthy snack concession stand using our own paid staff (for accountability) We hoped to break even or, at best, to make a bit of a profit A Little Bit About Our Program We had just under 300 basketball participants We had 35 teams Our season lasted 11 weekends – Only 7 of those weekends were full weekends (both Saturday and Sunday) involving most of the teams – 4 of those weekends involved only half (or fewer) of the teams Our Particular Assets - We had a rather captive crowd – The facility that we use has no gas stations, convenience stores, or grocery stores within comfortable walking distance - I had a supportive boss - Last season (2004- 05) we did not offer any concessions at all Our Particular Liabilities We do not have our own facility, but must use a local elementary school We had a very small closet out of which to operate We had a small stand up refrigeration unit that had to fit in that closet We had no toaster, microwave, or oven The only plug-in device we used at the concession stand was a popcorn machine The only youth sport we run is basketball Our Particular Thinking Our Underlying Philosophy: Since we offer basketball as a way of promoting activity and good health and as a way of combating obesity, we should not then turn and contribute to the problem by offering unhealthy concession choices Our Underlying Premise: We have a captive audience with money to burn; they will eat just about whatever we offer them Our Actual Menu • Bottled Water ($1.00) • Gatorade - Large ($1.50) & Small ($1.00) • Juice (only 100% juice • Granola Bars (most of which varieties) ($1.00) were low-fat) ($0.50) • Capri Sun (This was • Cracker Sandwiches ($0.50) discontinued in favor of 100% • Goldfish ($0.75) Juicy Juice) ($0.50) • Cheez-Its ($0.75) • Juicy Juice ($0.50) • Cheese & Crackers ($0.50) • Apples ($0.50) • String Cheese (low-fat) ($0.50) • Bananas ($0.50) • Trail Mix ($0.75) • Raisins ($0.50) • Pretzels ($0.50) • Fruit Snacks (with Vitamin C) • Peanuts ($0.75) ($0.50) • Beef Jerky ($0.50) • Fruit Roll-ups ($0.50) • Popcorn (made with the lowest • Fruit Bars ($0.75) fat oil we could find and very lightly salted) ($0.75) Stories From The Front - A number of people complained (of course) about the lack of soda and/or chocolate A number of people actually thanked us and complimented us for the choices Some that came looking for chocolate bought granola bars or trail mix to get a bit of their fix Stories From The Front, cont. What we found, with drinks for example, is that people bought Gatorade (our biggest single seller, along with popcorn) first When that ran out, they bought juice When that ran out, they bought water You can limit the choices to make them as healthy as you want Stories From The Front, cont. Many who would definitely have eaten nachos, a Snickers, and a Coke, instead settled for a cracker sandwich, a fruit bar, and a bottled water Some little kids learned that string cheese, bananas, and apple juice are just as yummy as chips, suckers, and soda I felt a whole lot better after a 13 hour day having not eaten nachos and hot dogs all day while washing it down with Mt. Dew End Of The Season Figures Total Sales $4,222.29 Total Costs $1,242.61 Profit $2,979.68 Labor Costs $1,982.00 Grand Total Profit $997.68 Bottom Line We made approximately $1,000 in 9+ weeks selling healthy choices – without selling nachos, hot dogs, candy bars, chips, or soda! Our labor costs were the single biggest expense we had, almost $2,000 With volunteer labor, we would have made $3,000 A Little Math That $3,000 came from approximately 300 participants (and their spectators) over approximately 10 weeks That works out to $10 profit per participant from a healthy snack menu It also works out to about $1 profit per participant per week What That Could Mean To You In a typical little league scenario, your league has around 500 participants Your season lasts 16 weeks Based on $1 per participant per week, your league’s profit would be $8,000 But the best part is that your profit came entirely from healthy choices at your concession stand Ways We Could Have Increased Our Profit Raised our prices Bought in bigger bulk (from commercial food distributors) Cut our worker’s income (currently $8.00 an hour) Used volunteer labor Expanded our menu to include items that can be microwaved or toasted Join The Fight Ronald Reagan, in his 2nd Inaugural Address said, ―If not us, who? And if not now, when?‖ Theodore Roosevelt said, ―Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.‖ The challenge for parks & recreation is to be a leader in this endeavor The Leaders And The Best If we, as a field, do not lead the way, who else will? We ought to be the vanguard; we ought to be on the cutting edge on this issue of childhood obesity – not just talking about the problem or dragging our feet, but being part of the solution Hope For The Future We hope to start to affect long term change We hope to lead some little kid to ask mommy for something healthy that they tried and liked at the concession stand at parks & rec My Challenge For You Try to implement a healthy snack concession stand – At a minimum, offer more healthy choices and fewer unhealthy ones – Try a completely healthy menu at least at one event or one concession stand If you are worried about profit and possible lost revenue . . . – Start small – Look for grants and partners like the health department My Challenge For You, cont. In the words of Nike . . . Just Do It! Let parks and recreation be a good example to other organizations that work with youth Don’t wait until the childhood obesity numbers get even higher before we act Don’t wait, like the schools, for the government to come in and mandate change Let us be the leaders and show, through our actions, that we truly do have the best interest of the kids in mind Questions? Comments?
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