Baseball fans that attended the Boston Red Sox’s opening day Friday had a host of new healthy foods available to them as one of several improvements made to Fenway Park for the 2014 baseball season, but many attendants said they prefer “classic” ballpark snacks.
The Red Sox announced its menus would be expanded to offer items such as a vegetarian sandwich and healthy KIND snack bars, according to a Wednesday release.
KIND Healthy Snacks, based in New York, is the new official healthy snack partner of the Boston Red Sox, said KIND Communications Manager Ashley Herendeen.
“It’s not always easy to eat healthy at the ballpark,” she said. “There are some delicious options but they’re not always the healthiest. We felt that Red Sox nation would appreciate another healthy option at the park.”
KIND Healthy Snacks pursued a partnership with the Boston Red Sox in part because of the growing demand for health-conscious food options.
“Overall you see in the marketplace a desire for healthy snack options,” Herendeen said. “The healthy snack category is very quickly growing and no matter the venue, what we’ve seen is folks like to have options.”
KIND kicked off its partnership with the Red Sox last week when it went into Copley Square with Wally the Red Sox Green Monster to hand out complimentary flowers and KIND bars.
Still, a new Tasty Burger stand has been set up within the lower level of the newly refurbished Third Base Deck, which now includes a wall of eight 46-inch high definition television screens for fans to view the game, despite the push of healthy options.
Tasty Burger started working with the Red Sox last season, said Brian Reyelt, co-owner of Tasty Burger Corporations.
“We had a stand on Yawkey Way, which was a good trial period,” he said. “We heavily enjoyed working with the group and we felt honored to be the official burger of the Boston Red Sox. Now we have a stand inside the ballpark and we’re very excited for opening day.”
The stand in Fenway Park will offer exclusive flavors known as “Fan Favorite Burgers.”
Changes have been made surrounding the ballpark as well, including an enhanced NESN Zone on Yawkey Way and the re-branded Wheels Up Clubhouse on Brookline Avenue.
The NESN Zone will host NESN’s pregame show, an NESN-themed specialty grill and a new and improved ‘Budweiser Bash’ bar that will have many flat-screen televisions for viewing the game.
The Clubhouse has an aviation theme with an exterior that resembles a runway, said Bill Allard, cofounder of Wheels Up, an aviation company based in Boston.
Several residents said they support the idea of having healthier food options available at Fenway, though their opinions varied as to whether they personally would sample the new menu items.
Annette Casco, 51, of Back Bay, said she thinks nutrition is becoming important to more people, but having something unhealthy once in a while, like at a ballgame, is fine.
“Eighty percent of the time you have to be good [about the food you eat] and then 20 percent of the time you can be bad, so at the game that’s okay,” she said. “At the same time … it’s great for them to offer that choice.”
Kevin Withe, 53, of Dorchester, said he believes foods can be healthy while remaining tasty.
“I’ve had veggie burgers that were fantastic, and I’ve actually turned meat-eaters on to veggie burgers and they didn’t know the difference,” he said. “I think you’ve got a good percentage of people who will try it [the new Fenway food] … Hopefully it will catch on.”