Blog: Lack of healthy options at UK attractions points to opportunity
Katy Askew | 26 October 2016
A new report by the Soil Association has highlighted a lack of healthy lunch options at the cafes of some of the UK's most prestigious visitor attractions.
The Out to Lunch survey, released this week, found that tourist attractions in the country are failing to offer healthy meals and snacks. Products aimed at kids are largely pre-prepared children’s lunchboxes loaded with sugar, chips and “unimaginative, ultra-processed” foods, the Soil Association found.
According to the report, 75% of lunchboxes sold at popular attractions did not routinely include a portion of vegetables or salad, while half included muffins, cakes and other sweet treats but no fresh fruit.
The survey looked at the refreshment options at 20 of the UK's most popular visitor attractions. London’s Natural History Museum and Brighton Pier scored joint last place.
Rob Percival, Soil Association policy officer commented: “Lunchboxes loaded with sugar and unimaginative ultra-processed foods are the norm and also a missed opportunity. So long as junk-filled lunchboxes continue to dominate family outings, parents will have a hard time convincing their children that healthy food can be a treat too.”
In this type of foodservice setting, packaged foods meet a number of customer needs. They are convenient, flexible for consumption on-the-go and benefit from a longer shelf life than many fresh options. However, pressure is mounting – from health campaigners but also from shifting consumer expectations – for healthy options to be available more widely.
Food manufacturers that can deliver food that is both healthy and practical for this purpose could find themselves well-placed to benefit from the ongoing shift.
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