First Lady Dawn Ige honored Aloha Petroleum for becoming the first retail business to adopt the state’s Choose Healthy Now project on Thursday.
Customers are now able to choose from a selection of healthy items, all displayed under the store’s green “Go!” section. Aloha Petroleum plans do a 90-day trial at their Aloha Island Marts in Kahala and Waianae, looking to implement it into other stations statewide.
“Now, we can't force our customers to pass on their spam musubi or bento,” said Richard Parry, Aloha Petroleum President and CEO. “But we want to give them choice.”
According to Parry, the convenience store only has 17 healthy items at the moment. He’s disappointed in the small selection, but is hoping to expand that throughout the trial time.
Aloha Petroleum joins several other vendors, who were also honored by the First Lady at the Healthy Vending Champion Awards ceremony last week.
Choose Healthy Now began last May, with six other state and federal government building snack shops, including Hawaii’s State Capitol building and the Downtown Post Office. Twelve more vendors are looking to join the effort by the end of next year.
The project began with the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Ho’opono Vending Program, in hopes of giving state employees healthier options in the food they eat.
“Research shows, and this is based on evidence, that providing easy to understand, point-of-decision information, motivates individuals to make healthier choices,” said Lola Irvine, from the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention & Healhy Promotion. “And so, Aloha Petroleum’s adoption of the project could not be timelier.”