The Snack Shack Attack
By James Baratta
The snack shack is the hearth of the cafeteria. It’s especially known for the World War Z-like pileups, getting cut in “line”, and shenanigans amongst friends while you wait for the cashier to maybe choose you next. The people around you are there for the same reason as you -- to buy decent, affordable snacks. This is what makes the shack distinct, but what happens when these things are threatened?
Since last year (the 2016-2017 school year), prices have increased and some have almost doubled! There’ve even been some additions to the stock. This includes $0.75 muffins that fit in the palm of your hand, “Flavored Water” (⅓ of the size of your average water bottle) at $1.00, and of course “Rethink Water”, carton water, which costs $1.75. While the Rethink Water brand is heavily eco-friendly, its price is $0.50 more than the Poland Spring bottles sold in the 2016-2017 school year, but it’s the same price as Dasani water from school vending machines. Students can no longer purchase Poland Spring on school grounds.
The next change really affected me personally. I buy “Switch” at lunch every day, I have been since my junior year. It was originally priced at a reasonable $1.25. Now, it’s been increased to $1.50. That extra $0.25 adds up. If you do the math, it’s going to cost me an extra $45 dollars to enjoy my favorite beverage sold at school.
The wall of bagged goods has also been affected. One of the most popular snacks, “Party Mix” is now $0.75. It was originally $0.65. Everything else of the sort has been increased by either $0.10 or $0.40. These are changes I can live with. This may be because I only occasionally purchase chips. Regardless, what’s the reason for the increase in prices?
The TIDE interviewed Steve Kamlet, head of food services for Long Beach High School. To paraphrase, the issue is above his head. Other than the change of the sale price for products, the price increased for certain items that were purchased by the school. Now, the “profit” from selling items is redirected to purchasing more of those products, which are sold to the students.
With this money, investments have been made in new products as well. While items such as “SQZD” hasn’t made an appearance yet, frozen yogurt sure has! At $3.00 a cup, it’s taken the school by storm and comes in three different flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and both. “SQZD” is similar to “Switch”. Mr. Kamlet plans to provide a taste test for the students to see if it’s worthy of being sold alongside the current drink. He made it clear that he doesn’t want to replace “Switch” due to its popularity among students. “SQZD” comes in three flavors: peach-mango, raspberry-strawberry, and grape. However, the price hasn’t been announced yet.
Although the prices have been raised, the snack shack made a comeback with its frozen yogurt. Students seem to be mostly satisfied with the product itself, but feel the price isn’t very consumer friendly. This opinion is common among upperclassmen because it’s usually their money that’s being spent on food items. Regardless, the student body of Long Beach High School can expect new arrivals in the near future.
-- Stay frosty --