Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, who serves two billion meals each year, and the American Heart Association (AHA), the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, today reported results from the third year of their Healthy for Life® 20 By 20 collaboration, which aims to improve the health of all Americans 20 percent by 2020.
Fueled by science and research from the AHA, Aramark chefs and menu developers pursued a variety of healthy menu strategies over the past three years, achieving industry-leading impact across the millions of meals served in workplaces, hospital cafés and college and university dining halls. The healthy menu innovation work has achieved a 15 percent average reduction across calories, saturated fat and sodium, while significantly increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains on menus. Specific changes include:
- 19 percent reduction in saturated fat
- 14 percent reduction in sodium
- 11 percent reduction in calories
- 9 percent increase across fruits, vegetables and whole grains
“Our long-standing collaboration with Aramark illustrates our joint commitment to improve access to healthy food choices,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association. “Our aim is to meet people where they are to promote and inspire long and healthy lives.”
DELIVERING INDUSTRY-LEADING HEALTHY MENU IMPACT
Designing new menus, creating innovative recipes, improving existing favorites and sourcing the right ingredients helped Aramark make major progress toward achieving its menu goals of reducing calories, saturated fat and sodium by 20 percent and increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains 20 percent by the end of 2020.
To achieve its goal of increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains, Aramark launched a major plant-forward initiative to elevate the role of healthy ingredients on its menus in colleges and universities, hospital cafés and workplace locations. The initiative introduced innovative recipes and aligned with existing efforts to accelerate climate-healthy menus that lower greenhouse gas emissions. Impact includes:
- Over 200 new plant-based recipes created
- 30 percent of menu offerings are vegan or vegetarian
- 5 percent average reduction in the amount of red meat in Aramark recipes
- More than 1,200 chefs have been trained in plant-based culinary innovation workshops
CONSUMER EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY IMPACT
Reaching millions of consumers, including communities in greatest need, through health awareness outreach and education programs, Aramark and the American Heart Association are inspiring people to make healthier choices part of their everyday lives.
- Launched in support of the Healthy for Life® 20 By 20 initiative, Aramark’s Feed Your Potential consumer engagement campaign utilizes an ever-growing health promotion toolkit to encourage consumers to try healthy foods.
- Worked with 300 local community centers and organizations in 50 cities to help families in underserved communities learn how to discover, choose and prepare healthy food, through hands-on educational experiences. A majority (60 percent) of participants increased the amount of fruit, vegetable and whole grains they eat each day, after participating in the program.
- Developed an online tool containing science-based educational experiences, orientation materials, recipes and support resources, all free to download, for program leaders around the country.