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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 4, April 2010, Posted On: 3/22/2010

Sony Chief Asks Movie Theaters To Add Healthier Concession Snacks

Emily Jed
food service, ShoWest, Sony Pictures, Michael Lynton, movie theatres, movie theaters, movie concessions, theater concession, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Michael Lynton, parents, healthy snacks, moviegoers, vending, vending machine, vending operator, vending industry, bulk vending

LAS VEGAS -- Sony Pictures chairman and chief executive Michael Lynton asked the nation's theater owners to offer healthier snacks at their concession stands, in addition to the candy, popcorn and soda concession staples.

In a speech at ShoWest, the nation's largest convention for the movie theater industry, Lynton said "adding healthier options to your existing menu is the right thing to do for our industry, for audiences and for our country."

He cited a poll of moviegoers commissioned by Sony Pictures that revealed two-thirds of moviegoers and three-quarters of parents are more likely to buy healthy snacks at theaters if they are offered. Additionally, 42% of parents said they would buy "healthier" concession foods. About 60% of parents said having healthier snacks in theaters would enhance their overall movie-going experience.

Moviegoers suggested the kinds of snack they'd like to see. They are fresh fruit, apples with dip, veggies with dip, yogurt, granola bars and trail mix, along with baked chips, apple chips and unbuttered, air-popped popcorn.

The Sony Pictures chief pointed out that some people sneak healthy snacks into movie theaters, like a granola bar or a box of raisins, which suggests an untapped market for concession stands.

Lynton emphasized that he was not asking theaters to stop selling popcorn, soda and candy. "Audiences love them," he said. "I'm just talking about adding some healthier items to what you already sell."

He also announced that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation has offered to meet with the theater owners to help them change their menus in ways that suit their audiences and make sense for their businesses.

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