ALTOONA, Pa. -- Convenience store retailer Sheetz Inc. has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and has made a two-year commitment to deliver more nutritious options across its 475 convenience stores, the organization has announced.
PHA works with the private sector and honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier for busy parents and families.
"Sheetz strives to meet the needs of our customers, and providing healthy choices has been an ongoing commitment for us," said Joe Sheetz, CEO of Sheetz. "We have seen the need in the communities we serve for healthy options and we are proud to continue to be a part of the solution. We are excited to be a PHA partner and encourage others to join in the effort."
Sheetz has committed to maintain and build upon healthy food choices; continue to make those choices more affordable; and support healthier options through in-store marketing and promotions to meet the needs of the children, families and communities it serves.
Over the next two years, Sheetz will work with PHA to expand its healthier food offerings, with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, healthier packaged foods and healthier made-to-order foods. It will offer a minimum number of kids' meals that meet nutrition standards and focus on in-store promotion of healthier products, as well as other tactics geared toward making the healthy choice the easy choice.
Specifically, by October 2016, Sheetz commits to offer healthier foods, including:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: A combined minimum of eight categories of fruits and or vegetables.
- Whole grains: A minimum of four whole grain products.
- Nonfat and low-fat dairy products: A minimum of four nonfat and low-fat dairy products.
- Packaged food: A minimum of 15 packaged food products that meet PHA's definition of healthier food or beverage products
- Made to Order (MTO): A minimum of 10 Made to Order items that meet PHA's definition of a healthier recipe.
- Sheetz Healthy Kids Combo Meals. A minimum of two meals that meet PHA nutrient profiles for kids meals.
Sheetz also commits to increase affordability of healthier foods, including:
- Pricing healthier packaged food and beverage products less than or equal to comparable items in the store.
- Pricing healthier Made to Order items less than or equal to other available Made to Order items in the store.
- Pricing Sheetz Healthy Kids Combo Meals less than or equal to other available kids combo meals or items in meal sold separately.
And Sheetz commits to market and promote healthier products, including:
- New Sheetz stores will display a minimum of 10 healthier product offerings within three feet of the cash register.
- Stores will display a minimum of 10 healthier foods and beverages on each of the following: in-store order boards, in-store menus and website.
- A nutrition calculator on the Sheetz website will provide nutrition information, including calories.
"Every day, people across the country struggle to find access to healthier foods. Sheetz is helping change that, proving that convenience can also mean healthy," said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. "We're proud that Sheetz is joining PHA to help get us closer to our goal to build a healthier nation and solve the childhood obesity crisis."
La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc. joined PHA in March. Nearly 1,000 convenience stores have now committed to PHA to increase access to healthier foods in their stores, PHA said.
In 2010, PHA was created in 2010 in conjunction with but independent from Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation's most respected health and childhood obesity experts. It brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. And PHA ensures that partners keep their commitments by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on their progress.
Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz operates more than 475 convenience stores throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. Sheetz provides a menu of MTO subs, sandwiches and salads, which are ordered through touch-screen order point terminals.