Back to basic, just what does that mean when it come to school lunch programs? In simple terms according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® “introducing fresh natural ‘real food’ to help students learn that ‘real food’ can taste good and be ‘better-for-you’.
So, when Sweetgreen announced its strategic partnership with FoodCorps to reimagine the school cafeteria experience, in order to guide students to experiment with real food, and empower them to make healthier choices every day. Our Grocerant Guru® said now that’s a good idea.
The program starts this school year, and will bring innovations to 15 cafeterias and 6,500 students in states across the country - Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Virginia, which all encompass a geographically and socioeconomically diverse set of students. Learnings from the pilot programs will inform the program’s expansion in the 2020-2021 school year to 50 schools, engaging over 20,000 elementary school students in the U.S.
Sweetgreen provided $1 million in funding to support FoodCorps and its pilot programs, which are built on a human-centered design study and leverages technology in 3 areas:
· Tasty Challenges: Powered by behavioral science research, taste testing models let students try fruits + veggies in different preparations, then vote on their favorites. This model enables students to have direct input on their menu.
Flavor Bars: Kids can explore new tastes and customize their meals with self-serve spices and sauces. This provides an opportunity for students to make choices about their meal, explore new flavors, and become more connected to the cafeteria environment.
· School Cafeteria 2.0: Students are empowered to lead discussions and decisions around school lunch and the cafeteria. This concept uses project-based learning to give students a voice in improvements to the cafeteria.
Jonathan Neman, co-founder and CEO of Sweetgreen stated “There are over 100,000 school cafeterias in America — that’s seven times more than the number of McDonald’s in the United States, meaning school meals play an incredibly powerful role in how 30 million kids connect to what they eat,” … “Food served in schools offer a powerful opportunity to change the trajectory of the health of a generation.”
Sweetgreen also connected with experts in food, nutrition and policy to weigh in on why school lunch matters and to help bring attention to the current state of food in schools to the forefront. Notable leaders include Deb Eschmeyer (social impact entrepreneur and former executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” Initiative), Sam Kass (Former White House chef and senior policy advisor for Nutrition, partner at Acre Venture Partners) and Dan Giusti (Founder of Brigaid, former executive chef at 1789 in Washington, D.C., and former head chef at Noma in Copenhagen).
Curt Ellis, co-founder and CEO of FoodCorps stated “Cafeterias offer an extraordinary opportunity to nourish students, yet too often they lack the joyful, welcoming experience that gets kids excited about eating healthy food,” …“Thanks to support from Sweetgreen, FoodCorps is piloting an initiative to reimagine school cafeterias shaped by the voices of the very people who are impacted most by school food—the students.”
Furthering their commitment to healthy and nutritious food in schools, Sweetgreen will donate $1 from every seasonal bowl to FoodCorps, Monday, September 16 through Sunday, October 13, 2019. Once again proving fast food fresh is not only ‘better-for-you’ it just might be better for all of us.
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow? Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.