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STUDY: Yes, healthy foods can sell at concession stands

popcorn

What happens when you start selling healthy alternatives at concession stands? Based on one study at a high school, it seems customers don’t turn away.

Researchers analyzed sales data from concessions at Muscatine High in Iowa, where healthy snacks were sold during football, swimming and volleyball events.

Healthier ingredients were used in popcorn and nachos, too. The standard offerings such as pizza, hot dog and candy bars were still available.

Researchers found that sales, revenues and profits were generally stable. Sales per varsity football game actually went up 4% in 2009, when the changes were made, compared to the year before.

“If you’re a concession-stand sponsor, and you want people to eat better, and you want to make more money, add at least five healthy items,” Brian Wansink, the Cornell lab’s director and a marketing professor, said in a statement. “There’s got to be a critical mass, and we find that five’s a very lucky number, and 10 is even better.”