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Food News Media, publisher of QSR and FSR magazines, announced the winners of the inaugural HALO Awards, which honor restaurant chains that have made meaningful contributions to a healthy, active lifestyle for consumers.
Both QSR and FSR have regularly covered the healthy, active lifestyle and how restaurant chains are addressing it. In 2014, Food News Media took that coverage to the next level by launching the HALO Awards and began accepting entries in February. The stated purpose of the awards initiative was two-fold: to give chain restaurants that have made health-related contributions the widespread recognition they deserve, and to spur further health-related innovations among restaurant chains.
The 2014 winning chains and their entries are:
• Bean Sprouts: Imaginnibles kids’ menu
• Boston Market: “Good Food Meets Fresh Thinking” initiative
• Chick-fil-A: New grilled chicken entrees
• LYFE Kitchen: “Love Your Food Everyday” credo
• Silver Diner: Revamped adult & kids’ menu
Honorable mentions have also been awarded to:
• Applebee’s: Kids’ menu revamp
• Fresh To Order: “Better for You Burgers”
• Larkburger: Responsible portion sizes at a burger restaurant
• Red Mango: Raw, cold-squeezed juices
The winners and honorable mentions were recognized during a ceremony held on October 14 at the Georgia World Congress Center as part of the Atlanta Foodservice Expo. “It was great to see the passion exhibited not only by the restaurant chains when they accepted their awards, but also the enthusiasm of those in attendance,” says Greg Sanders, group publisher of Food News Media. “There is real, concrete interest in pursuing this line of business in the chain restaurant industry.”
Honorees were chosen by a panel of restaurant, nutrition, and public health experts, including Dr. David Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center; Anita Jones-Mueller, founder and president of Healthy Dining; Sam Oches, editor of QSR magazine; Connie Gentry, editor of FSR magazine; and Sanders.
“We’re very encouraged by what the industry has accomplished thus far,” Sanders says, “and we can’t wait to see where we are in the next five years.”
Tyson Food Service served as the sponsoring partner for the inaugural HALO Awards. “We are proud to sponsor the HALO Awards,” says Tiffany Jetter, communications senior brand manager at Tyson Food Service. “It is operators like the ones involved in this initiative that will begin to shift the health and well-being of our nation. It’s proven time and time again that healthy might not always be the most cost-efficient, but one thing continues to ring true: consumers demand flavor and variety. If restaurants are able to achieve those two things with a healthy menu, they have the opportunity to not only steal share but to change behavior.”