Objectives: To explore industry perspectives on the transition to healthier food and beverage sales in publicly funded recreation facilities and specifically (a) the awareness of the BC provincial Guidelines and implementation supports; (b) challenges encountered in the transition to healthier products; and (c) thoughts on future trends and opportunities in the snack and beverage business.
Methods: We used a qualitative research design (semi-structured interviews) with thematic analysis to explore the data collected.
Results: Overall, the industry was aware of the BC Guidelines and philosophically supported the transition to healthier choices in public recreation facilities. Main challenges in implementing the Guidelines were the: (1) perceived limitations of the Guidelines; (2) issues stocking healthy products; (3) competition in food sales environments; and (4) negative impact on profits. Interviewees believed that consumer choice is increasingly influenced by environmental and health priorities and that adapting to these trends would be important for future business success.
Conclusions: The food and beverage industry needs time, resources and expertise to adapt their business model and to find new palatable products that meet healthy Guidelines. Strategies that strengthen accountability, provide opportunities for economic development and enhance private-public sector communication will help industry partners support implementation of nutrition policies.
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