Football season is in full swing and the Kansas City Chiefs are going the extra yard by scoring a major victory for the environment. Thanks to a collaboration between BASF, Aramark and Hampton Farms, Arrowhead Stadium will become the first-ever professional sports venue to sell a pre-packed compostable peanut bag.
The compostable peanut bag is part of the Chiefs’ environmental initiative, “Extra Yard for the Environment,” which is designed to devise and implement new green policies for the Chiefs, while also raising awareness for sustainability efforts at Arrowhead Stadium. Debuting at the November 26th game, the compostable peanut bag will be sold throughout general concessions and in-seat vending, with the goal of expanding to other areas of Arrowhead Stadium following the pilot phase.
Why the need for a compostable peanut bag?
Snack food packaging comes in many different forms. With more than 15,000 bags of peanuts sold in concessions at Arrowhead Stadium each year, the Chiefs approached Aramark, the team’s general concessionaire, about finding ways to further advance the “Extra Yard for the Environment” program and Arrowhead’s waste-diversion methods.
When it comes to selling peanuts, Aramark’s roots run deep. The company’s founder began selling peanuts out of his car in 1932, laying the foundation for what would eventually become snack vending. Aramark now sells more than 1.1 million bags of peanuts annually at sporting events and, once again, is playing a role in transforming how peanuts are sold.
“With peanuts being among the best-selling snack foods at sports events, the introduction of this compostable peanut bag is a potential game-changer,” said Carl Mittleman, president of Aramark’s Sports and Entertainment division. “As the Chiefs partner and a food and beverage services industry leader, we’re proud to be at the forefront of driving innovative solutions that decrease our environmental impact and enhance the game day experience.”
The development process.
To tackle this challenge, Aramark asked BASF to draw up a game plan to divert peanut bags from the landfill. Working with Hampton Farms, they converted all parties of the supply chain, from the packaging converter to composter, to deliver a compostable peanut bag for Arrowhead Stadium.
As part of the 18-month developmental process, BASF worked with Missouri Organic Recycling to test packaging prototypes to ensure that the final product meets Missouri Organic’s stringent composting guidelines for quality and safety. The end product is the first-of-its-kind commercially available peanut bag to be made from BASF’s certified compostable ecovio biopolymer and Epotal adhesive.
“Over the past few years we have put an increased focus on our sustainability program, Extra Yard for the Environment, and have worked to find new, innovative ways to reduce our organization’s carbon footprint,” said Chiefs vice president of stadium operations Brandon Hamilton. “We have received tremendous support from our partners, such as Aramark, and have been fortunate to work with people and organizations like BASF and Hampton Farms who are dedicated to helping us meet our goals. We are excited to unveil this product, as we believe it will have a positive impact on our efforts in Arrowhead Stadium and will also spread to other venues to make a positive change within the industry.”
“As the largest roaster of peanuts for the sports and entertainment industry, our customers are interested in reducing landfill waste,” said Rick McGee, vice president of sales, Hampton Farms. “This bag represents an exciting future for us as well as for our customers.”
“We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate to snack producers and users of flexible packaging that compostable is a viable waste-reduction strategy,” stated Paul Kearns, business development manager, BASF.