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Wherever they’re hungry, you’re there to serve. As you pitch a new menu at local sporting events or cater the latest festival, concessions put you front and center with crowds of potential customers. That’s always a good recipe for strong profits in a highly competitive industry.
Still, you need to keep customers happy from one venue to another. Can you satisfy a variety of appetites with healthy concession stand food choices?
Whether they’re shopping for groceries or dining out, consumers want healthier selections. They’re willing to pay more for healthy options too. Let their expectations for good taste and good nutrition be your guide as you decide what food items you need in your concession stand.
Healthy Concession Stand Food Ideas: 8 Profitable Crowd-Pleasers
The challenges of menu engineering don’t get smaller in smaller spaces. Your competition often sets up just a dozen yards away, and your market stays on the move. Make your vendor operation stand out by offering healthy, delicious takes on traditional concession stand food. These eight ideas are easily incorporated into concession stand menus.
1. Always-Popular Pretzels
Warm pretzels are classic concession stand fare, and they’re surprisingly cost-effective too. Double down on this fan favorite with gluten-free versions that range from sweet to salty. Distinguish your concession stand from the competition by baking pretzels on-site and serving them in bags branded with your logo.
2. Air-Popped Popcorn
Keep popcorn snacks healthy by avoiding kettle popping in heavy oils. Instead, air-pop your popcorn. Drizzle it with a light olive oil, or spritz it with a fat-free oil spray. Add savory flavor with garlic powder, cayenne pepper or barbecue seasoning. Surprise customers with sweet popcorn lightly dusted with a little sugar and cinnamon.
3. Fried Fresh Veggies
When you think about where to buy food for your concession stand, consider sourcing from growers who supply field-fresh produce. Take advantage of premium vegetables by turning them into irresistible fried snacks. Offer crunchy broccoli, eggplant and Brussels sprouts as healthy substitutions for traditional fried fare.
4. Easy Meatless Nachos
This healthy concession side delivers an enticing combination of spicy flavors and low food costs. Easy prep adds to the appeal of meatless nachos that satisfy the heartiest appetites. Mix and match veggie ingredients, layer over multigrain tortilla chips, and top with naturally low-fat cotija cheese.
5. Nutritious Signature Sandwiches
Recreate classic concession stand sandwiches by upgrading their nutritional profiles. Smoked chicken breast, lean roast beef and thin-sliced honey ham are all consumer-pleasing alternatives to heavy cold-cuts. Build concession sales by building signature sandwiches with roasted turkey, romaine hearts and Caesar dressing on ciabatta rolls.
6. Delicious Veggie Burgers
Compare the serving cost of ground beef with fresh vegetables. Veggies win every time, and they score extra points when they star as main ingredients. Veggie burgers elevate premium produce into profitable menu items for all types of concession operations. Zucchini, sweet potatoes and chickpeas are just a few mouthwatering, meatless options.
7. Healthy House-Made Beverages
Whether you drive a campus food truck or cater corporate events, customers always appreciate a variety of beverages. Offer them more than soft drinks. Quench their thirst with specialty teas and cold-brewed coffee. Impress them with your concession stand’s line of house-made infused waters, gourmet lemonades and green smoothies.
8. Dessert Fruit Salads
Slice, sliver and cube fresh, seasonal fruit. Toss it all together, and offer health-conscious guests a fruit salad sweet enough to serve as dessert. Make your version of this nutritious dish extra creamy with yogurt dressing. Make it even sweeter with a light glaze of organic honey sourced from local beekeepers.
Helping You Make Healthy Changes
Healthy choices at the concession stand ring up strong sales. Industry research backs up the numbers, so take a fresh look at your foodservice operation. Start with easy changes to existing menu items, track positive customer response, and build on that success by expanding your selection of nutritious snacks, sides and sandwiches.
We’re proud to be a part of healthy changes to menus all across the industry and the nation. From cilantro and parsley to romaine hearts and Brussels sprouts, you can rely on Hitchcock Farms for the freshest premium produce. You have our commitment to always serving you with our very best.