Sony studio head asks for healthier food concessions at theaters

posted by HowardBHaas on March 21, 2010 at 7:31 am

At ShoWest, the head of Sony Pictures called for theater to include healthier options at the concession stand.

Sony Pictures chief Michael Lynton fired a shot across the large-margin concessions bow of theater chains Monday, asking exhibitors to add healthier food options at the box office.

Delivering his remarks at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas, Lynton cited skyrocketing childhood obesity rates before noting, “adding healthier options to your existing menu is the right thing to do for our industry, for audiences and for our country.”

Read more in The Wrap.

Comments (9)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on March 21, 2010 at 9:04 am

AMC needs to bring fruits and veggies to their concession stand and add chocolate milk instead of burgers, munchies, and fried crap.

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on March 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

Healthy alternatives have been tried numerous times, by most chains, and it has always been a failure. About the only moderately successful program I’ve seen has been offering a juice box and/or raisins option for the kids pack. Everyone says they want a healthy option, but when you actually provide things like air popped corn, trailmix, milk, etc., nobody buys it. Theatre chains are focused on making a profit and, if they could make any money selling “healthier concessions”, they would.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm

That’s because air popped corn tastes like cardboard. People want salty popcorn with butter on it when they go to the movies, healthy or not. That’s why steakhouses never go out of business.

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on March 22, 2010 at 5:12 am

Michael Lynton is an idiot. If people were buying healthier snacks, the theater owners would have provided these snacks along time ago.

Scott
Scott on March 22, 2010 at 7:52 am

I’d ask Lynton why most kids weren’t obese in, let’s say, the 40s and 50s when all the snacks in theatres were junk then as well. I doubt that kids are fat today because of the way they eat in movie theatres. Going to the theatre is supposed to be fun, not a health class.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on March 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

While the action is commendable, how much profit is there in vegetables anyway? Is anyone going to pay the same amount $4 or $5 for a a few carrot sticks vs a tub of popcorn? The same with nachos? The $1 sized packaged nachos they sell for $4 or $5 or more (like at Regal) can’t compete profit wise with vegetables. That $1 sized (at your local 7-Eleven) probably costs half of that or less. I can imagine the conversation at the concession line… “Oh honey, I just have to get my box of brussel sprouts and carrot juice before the movie starts..”

John Fink
John Fink on March 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I remembered seeing National Amusements try veggies and dip at Buckland Hills back when I lived in CT, I didn’t have them but I thought it was a good idea. They do well with offering diverse options, its not so much the healthy as it is diverse that I prefer. Still it doesn’t make sense to go all healthy, but more natural, good foods, sure. Starbucks is an example of a company that started reducing the “fake” ingredients from their foods, which is probably great theatre (the cookies still taste the same).

Personally I like food courts in theaters – I know the CT folks up in Toronto hate Scotiabank but it works for TIFF when your seeing three movies in a row and don’t want to leave the theater for lunch. They do offer healthier options and fruits during the fest because they sell to movie goers who are indoors all day. Most people aren’t going to be in the theater for a few hours, still its good in a rush to have that option, I like Cinema De Lux for that reason and while their food may not be healthy, the pizza is actually prepared and cooked in house, not frozen and reheated like AMC.

Still I’d like if a theater chain partnered with Jamba Juice, I think that might do well at a high traffic multiplex (since AMC Garden State might not let me bring it in next time).

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Try selling healthy snacks at an indulgence activity like the movies and get prepared to throw away much more than you sell.

Perhaps Mr. Lynton expects kids to eat yogurt and fruit while watching the behavioral examples set by his studio with movies like “PAUL BLART: MALL COP” and “CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS”.

Hypocrite.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on March 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm

The concession prices are enough to give me a heart attack, not the items being sold!

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