Last summer came the announcement of our commitment with the American Heart Association (AHA) to improve the health of Americans by 2020. The commitment’s multifaceted initiative, Healthy for Life® 20 by 20, impacts our menus and recipes, as well as how we engage with consumers and how we educate communities around health.
For the AHA, the partnership provided an opportunity not only to advance the health of millions, but also the benefit of working closely with a company that could help them develop a healthy food and beverage solution for their own employees.
Our Refreshment Services team was up to that challenge. So earlier this year, they transformed the AHA’s vending machine area at the company’s national headquarters in Dallas into an innovative, customized mircomarket with healthier food and beverage choices.
“The new food and beverage options expand our offerings and better align with our health eating recommendations,” said Meighan Girgus, AHA’s Chief Mission Officer. “We’re offering a variety of packaged and refrigerated foods and beverages, selecting nutritious and delicious choices for meals and snacks.”
The micromarket features breakfast, lunch and snack items including Greek yogurt, healthy frozen entrees, and even a new beverage machine to offer staff a wide assortment of coffees and teas. The micromarket was aptly named “Smart Mart” by AHA employee David Santeusanio, as part of a contest designed to engage employees and encourage them to visit the market.
“Smart Mart” complements AHA’s initiative to encourage employees to focus on heart health by increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables. In fact, fresh fruit and healthy salads account for more than a third of the sales at the new market, which has been a tremendous success since it opened in mid-January.
“We nearly hit our three-month sales goal in one month,” Girgus noted. “It’s been very popular.”
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