The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t just score points on the field this past football season – they also scored a major victory for the environment.
Thanks to collaboration between BASF, Aramark and Hampton Farms, Arrowhead Stadium – the home turf of the Chiefs – became the first ever professional sports venue to sell a pre-packed compostable peanut bag. The bag is part of the Chiefs’ environmental initiative, “Extra Yard for the Environment,” which is designed to devise and implement new green policies, while also raising awareness for sustainability efforts at Arrowhead Stadium.
Debuting at the November 26, 2017, game, the compostable peanut bag was sold throughout general concessions and in-seat vending, with the goal of expanding to other areas of Arrowhead Stadium following the initial pilot phase.
Why 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,” says 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 a first-of-its-kind commercially available peanut bag to be made from BASF’s certified compostable ecovio biopolymer and Epotal adhesive.
“We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate to snack producers and users of flexible packaging that compostable is a viable waste-reduction strategy,” says Paul Kearns, business development manager, BASF.