Health Equalities Group are currently developing the Healthy Stadia Catering Mark to improve the food and drink offer across sporting venues.
Quantitative Research by YouGov in December 2013 found that from a sample 5,300 adults who had visited sport venue in last 12 months, 60% ate meals at home before or after the event, with 43% of fans citing greater choice as key factor in changing buying habits. The report also found that 46% of visitors said they were unhappy about the lack of healthier choices
Further research in the Public Health Nutrition Journal (2008) found that greater choice was needed at sports venues for all fans, in particular women and children segments, and that healthier, seasonal-based options were shown to stimulate change in purchasing.
The primary aim of the catering mark is to raise standards of catering provision within the context of health across all sports venues. With social benefits, such as healthier fans and workforces at stadia, and benefits to business with the ability for caterers to grow latest revenue streams.
The catering mark takes the form of an online assessment tool which has been developed by nutritionists in Healthy Stadia and supported by British Heart Foundation. The assessment provides sports venues and its caterers with a benchmark score of how it stands in relation to catering and public health issues. Applicants who score 40% and above, will be eligible for a Bronze Mark (40-55%), Silver Mark (55-70%) or Gold Mark (70% +), with accompanying certification.
The catering mark focusses on match-day, concourse catering, but corporate catering also taken into consideration. Key themes include healthy/healthier food options on sale; preparation and healthier cooking techniques; portion and condiment control; supply of healthier beverages; pricing and promotion. Guidance and examples are provided during course of assessment with structured supported offered post-assessment
Health Equalites Group are currently piloting the Catering Mark with a number of clubs. For more information please go to the Healthy Stadia website