PROMOTING HEALTHY LIFESTYLES
Disney partners with parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids and we recognize our unique ability to help parents and kids agree on positive lifestyle choices. We can make healthy living fun and joyful for parents and kids by drawing on Disney's boundless creativity.
Our efforts to promote healthy lifestyles are a great opportunity to extend and grow the Disney brand with a purpose we can all feel good about. We have addressed this opportunity through a number of initiatives including associating Disney brands and characters with a more nutritionally-balanced range of foods, offering healthier options at our parks, and using role models to inspire healthy lifestyles among kids.
Nutritional GuidelinesIn 2006, Disney announced our Nutritional Guidelines intended to give parents and kids healthier eating options. These Guidelines are derived from U.S. government-recommended Dietary Guidelines with the input of top child health experts. In addition to encouraging the consumption of low fat, nutritionally-dense foods, the Guidelines aim to control calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium; eliminate added trans fat, partially hydrogenated oils, and caffeine; and encourage appropriate portions for children three years of age and older. Today, the Guidelines are being implemented globally and apply to all food-related business activities, including food service, licensing and third party tie-in promotions and sponsorships. For example, virtually all of our food or beverage related promotions and sponsorships meet these Guidelines. The few exceptions are generally a result of pre-existing contractual obligations.
Given the dynamic nature of children's health and nutrition, we engage with health experts regularly to maintain a set of Guidelines that are relevant and credible. Evaluating our Guidelines throughout the year also helps identify areas where the Guidelines might evolve or expand. For instance, in 2010 we implemented our new Infant and Toddler Guidelines, which address the special nutritional needs of children under 36 months. The Infant and Toddler Guidelines are based on a balanced diet of natural, wholesome and minimally-processed foods with a particular focus on nutritionally-dense foods: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy and lean protein. They set a standard for no artificial colors, preservatives, or additives of any kind.
Launching and maintaining the Guidelines also requires ongoing employee training. In 2010, Disney re-trained more than 200 cast members and employees globally who have responsibilities related to food and beverage businesses. These employees include managers in food and beverage at our parks and resorts, food and beverage licensing, standards and practices, and marketing and promotions. This training highlights the Company's commitment to nutrition, provides detailed information about the Guidelines and answers specific questions employees have about Guideline application.
Licensed Food PortfolioDisney licenses its brands and characters on a range of food products available to consumers in retail stores worldwide. We make an effort to work with licensees who offer a nutritious portfolio of food that kids enjoy and parents feel good about serving. Further, we aim to prioritize and promote wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grain, and lean proteins that contribute to a healthful diet.
In 2006, we set a long-term goal of balancing our licensed food portfolio (our "portfolio balance goal") so that 85% (measured in wholesale food sales) of everyday foods would meet our Guidelines. The balance of our licensed food portfolio allows for special-occasion items such as birthday cakes, confectionery products and other celebratory treats. In 2010, we surpassed our domestic portfolio balance goal. Today in the United States, 86% of our portfolio food items are everyday foods that meet the Guidelines and 14% are foods for celebrations. With our focus on prioritizing and promoting fruits and vegetables, more than 1.7 billion servings of licensed fruits and vegetables have been sold in North America alone since 2006.
We are making progress towards achieving our global portfolio balance goal. We have increased to 62% worldwide the portion of our licensed food portfolio of everyday food items that meet the Guidelines. While this represents a significant increase since the Guidelines were developed, it lags behind our global goal of 85%. This is due to a number of factors. The global rollout of the Guidelines was done in consultation with regional health experts to make sure they were locally relevant, delaying implementation compared to North America. We are also sensitive to a number of cultural differences that shape the adoption of the Guidelines, including differing health issues from region to region, nuances in the relationship consumers have with Disney in particular markets, and differences in norms governing business relationships with licensees and sponsors. We continue to work closely with our regions and health experts to provide the Guidelines as a business tool.
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Food at Disney Parks & Resorts
Disney Parks & Resorts is affirming its commitment to kids' health by offering healthier kids' meals and expanding the healthy options available to all guests. The healthier kids' meals default to healthier sides and drinks, such as low-fat milk and applesauce rather than soft drinks and French fries, for example. These are now the standard pre-bundled kids' meals offered in the parks. According to estimates, parents opt for the healthier default options more than 50% of the time. Healthy snack carts throughout the park also offer fresh fruit, cut vegetables and other nutritious snacks.
Our goal is to put healthy food options within reach no matter where families are in our parks and resorts. To build on this effort, our parks have expanded the number of healthier options so that guests can decide what meets their taste, convenience and price needs. Menus now include smaller portions of adult meals as alternatives for kids and a minimum of one healthy entrée, one healthy side and one reduced fat or low/no sugar added dessert at each quick service and sit down restaurant. Currently, many food locations such as quick service restaurants, kiosks and carts sell whole or packaged fruits or vegetables.
Disney parks continue to explore opportunities to enhance the nutritional value of many of the foods that are served. For example, the hamburger formulation was changed to meet guest taste requirements while not exceeding 20% fat content. Menu options are continually evaluated to identify and introduce other enhancements such as adding whole grains to pizza crust and using lower-fat cheese content.
Media ProgrammingWe understand that kids look to Disney television shows and characters as a source of inspiration. Our popular TV stars and characters serve as role models encouraging healthy lifestyles. We often weave healthy messaging into our story lines to provide information in an entertaining way. Currently, all Disney Channel series in production have at least one episode per season that incorporates a positive healthy lifestyle message. We have also developed more than 100 short format interstitials with specific messaging about nutritious foods or physical activity.
View the video gallery for examples of these messages, including content featuring Handy Manny and Next X on Disney Channel and Disney XD. Also, visit the feature story on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC for more information.