PHILADELPHIA — Aramark, the largest U.S.-based food service company serving sports teams, health care providers and educational institutions, continues to make strides in its efforts to provide healthier food.
In 2015, Aramark joined the American Heart Association in an initiative focused on empowering Americans to make better food choices. Healthy for Life 20 by 20, a five-year initiative, introduces industry leading menu commitments by reducing calories, saturated fat and sodium levels by 20% and increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains by 20%. Changes will impact more than 2 billion meals that Aramark serves annually at thousands of schools and universities, businesses, hospitals, sports and entertainment venues, parks and other destinations, with an expected impact of 10 billion meals by 2020, according to the company.
Since launching the initiative three years ago, Aramark said it has been able to achieve a 19% reduction in saturated fat, a 14% reduction in sodium and an 11% reduction in calories, while achieving a 9% increase across fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Aramark said it has been able to make progress toward its goals by designing new menus, creating innovative recipes, improving existing recipes and sourcing the right ingredients. Additionally, the launch of a major plant-forward initiative has helped increase fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aramark said it has created more than 200 new plant-based recipes and now features a menu where 30% of the offerings are vegan or vegetarian. Aramark also said it has trained more than 1,200 chefs in plant-based culinary innovation workshops.
“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.”