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A “Veggie” Nice Upgrade: Humana Healthier Choices Adds Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Options at Taste of Chicago 2015

Showdown! On July 11 at Humana Tent, Chicago Bears alum Tom Thayer and WXRT DJ Lin Behmer to participate in Healthy Cook Off; Chicago Bears alum Tom Waddle to be guest judge

Humana Healthier Choices Rewards program to immerse Taste-goers in a healthy festival experience


Wednesday, June 24, 2015 11:00 am EDT



Public Company Information:

"I encourage everyone to try these delicious, healthy foods and immerse themselves in Humana’s rewards program for a fun, active experience at the Taste of Chicago."

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recognizing the evolution of changing dietary preferences, the rise in vegetarianism and trend toward healthy eating, health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) will add vegetarian options to its signature Humana Healthier Choices program at Taste of Chicago 2015 for the first time in the program’s eight year history. This year’s healthy food listing features 48 healthy food options – 34 of which are vegetarian – from 24 Chicago restaurants, appealing more broadly to the foodie crowd.

American adults are eating better, making better use of available nutrition information and consuming fewer calories coming from fat and saturated fat, according to a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By evaluating the calories, saturated fat, sodium and ingredients of festival foods, Humana Healthier Choices allow Taste-goers to indulge without stressing over their waistlines. To accommodate various dietary restrictions, the program is also promoting six gluten-free items from the restaurant Dia De Los Tamales.

“By expanding Humana Healthier Choices to include vegetarian options and promoting gluten-free alternatives, we’re looking to help a greater population of Taste-goers pursue a healthy eating experience that inspires lifelong well-being,” said Charles Dow, Humana’s Regional President of Senior Products in the Great Lakes. “I encourage everyone to try these delicious, healthy foods and immerse themselves in Humana’s rewards program for a fun, active experience at the Taste of Chicago.”

The Humana Healthier Choices will be identified by a green apple on the menu boards at participating restaurant booths. The Humana Healthier Choices list of items will be handed out at the Humana tent, located on Columbus Drive between Jackson Boulevard and Buckingham Fountain, and can be downloaded at the Taste of Chicago website and via facebook.com/TheTasteOfChicago.

“As a four-year veteran of the Humana Healthier Choices program, I have been inspired to promote health and well-being to my customers beyond Taste of Chicago,” said John Meyers, owner of BJ's Market & Bakery. “The program has encouraged me to decrease the sugar and salt content in all of the foods I offer at my restaurant.”

All of the restaurants participating in the 2015 Taste of Chicago were invited to submit their menu items for consideration for the Humana Healthier Choices program. For an item to be considered, restaurants must submit nutritional details including calories, sodium content, saturated fat and the list of ingredients.

Humana Healthier Choices for Taste of Chicago 2015 (vegetarian options noted by a V):

Appetizers/Starters – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat

  • Taste Portion of Veggie (Vegan) Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen
  • Taste Portion of Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market
  • Taste Portion of Malnati Salad (V) – Lou Malnati’s
  • Corn on the Cob (V) – Mariano’s
  • Roasted Celtic Corn on the Cob (V) – O'Brien's Restaurant
  • Doner Shot – DönerMen
  • Shrimp – Haire's Gulf Shrimp
  • Taste Portion of Eggplant Sandwich (V) – Gino's Steaks Truck

Main Dishes – Less than 500 calories, 500 mg sodium and 4 g saturated fat

  • Veggie (Vegan) Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen
  • Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market
  • Grilled Steak Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
  • Grilled Chicken Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
  • Smoked Alligator – Chicago's Dog House
  • Smoked Rattlesnake with Rabbit – Chicago's Dog House
  • Watermelon Hibiscus Gazpacho (V) – Farmer's Fridge
  • Avocado Toast (V) – Farmer's Fridge
  • Vegetable Spinach and Plantains (V) – Iyanze
  • Jerk Chicken – Iyanze
  • Chicken Ke-Bob Curry Rice with Vegetables – Kasia’s Deli
  • Malnati Salad (V) – Lou Malnati’s
  • Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad – Star of Siam
  • Doner Kebab – DönerMen
  • Kebab Salad – DönerMen
  • Chap Chae (V) – Jin Ju
  • Eggplant Sandwich (V) – Gino's Steaks Truck
  • Chicken Tacos – La Cocinita
  • Black Bean and Queso Fresco Arepas with Guasacaca and Cabbage Slaw (V) – La Cocinita
  • Grilled Cheese (V) – The Fat Shallot

Desserts – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat

  • Limone (Lemon) Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato
  • Blood Orange Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato
  • Peach Cobbler Gelato (V) – Caffe Gelato
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato (V) – Caffe Gelato
  • Italian Lemon Ice (V) – Franco's Ristorante
  • Italian Watermelon Ice (V) – Franco's Ristorante
  • Strawberry Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
  • Mango Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
  • Lime Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
  • Watermelon Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
  • Seedless Watermelon (V) – Mariano’s
  • Mango Sorbet (V) – Star of Siam
  • Chocolate Frozen Baby Banana (V) – The Fudge Pot
  • Chocolate Dipped Strawberry (V) – The Fudge Pot
  • 1 Dinky Donut (V) – Dinky Donuts
  • Southern Red Velvet Morsel of Love (V) – Ms. Tittle's Cupcake
  • Frozen Mango Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
  • Taste Portion of Frozen Mango Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
  • Frozen Original Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
  • Taste Portion of Frozen Original Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café

The following items, available from Dia De Los Tamales, do not meet the Humana Healthier Choices nutrition criteria but provide options for Taste-goers with gluten-free dietary restrictions:

  • Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale
  • Taste Portion of Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale
  • Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale (V)
  • Taste Portion of Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale (V)
  • Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese Tamale
  • Roasted Pepper Goat Cheese Tamale (V)

A panel of five top Chicago-area physicians with expertise in diet and nutrition collaboratively judged each item to assure that nutritional values were met. The panel included Amy Hess-Fischl, M.S., R.D, advanced practice dietitian and program coordinator at University of Chicago’s Kovler Diabetes Center; Kathleen Duffy, M.S., R.D., Diabetes Nutrition Educator, Rush Oak Park Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center; Rob Sargis, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Adult Endocrinology, University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center; Donna Perisee, M.D., Ph.D., Humana Medical Director, Medicare Great Lakes Region, Health Services Organization; and Neal Fischer, M.D., Humana Regional Medical Director, Medicare Operations, Great Lakes Region.

“For eight consecutive years, the Humana Healthier Choices program has helped Taste-goers explore different food options with the comfort of knowing that they’re eating a healthy meal,” said Neal Fischer, M.D., Humana Regional Medical Director, Medicare Operations.

Humana Healthier Choices Rewards Program

The Humana Healthier Choices Rewards Program will provide Taste-goers with a host of well-being offerings. After receiving a free Humana Healthier Choices Tag, which comes with a lanyard for a hands-free and convenient experience, participants can collect stamps by sampling any Humana Healthier Choices food item or participating in healthy activities at the Humana tent.

Once Taste-goers receive six stamps, they can drop off their badge at the Humana tent to be entered into random prize drawings, donated by the Taste of Chicago restaurants. Prize winners will be announced July 12 starting at 8:45 p.m. CDT. On social media, Taste-goers are encouraged to join the conversation and share their Humana Healthier Choices food items on Instagram, mentioning @Humana, #TasteofChi and #HealthierChoices.

WXRT/Chicago Bears Healthy Cook-Off

Humana will host a healthy food cook-off between Chicago Bears alum Tom Thayer and WXRT DJ Johnny Mars at 12:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday, July 11. The cook-off will be emceed by WXRT DJ Mary Dixon and will feature special guest judges, including fellow Chicago Bears alum Tom Waddle.

Additional Offerings from Humana

Taste-goers are welcome to take a break from the July heat by enjoying a shaded seating area in the Humana tent, which will feature a backyard barbecue/tailgating theme and will be located on Columbus Drive between Jackson Boulevard and the Buckingham Fountain.

The tent will feature a Walk & Wellness Station, where participants can take a free pedometer – if they don’t have their own fitness device or app – and will then be encouraged to return to the tent after walking around the Taste of Chicago to report their steps. There will also be trivia wheels and a photo booth. More information about the Humana Healthier Choices menu listing and contest rules are available for download at www.TasteofChicago.us.

The 35th Annual Taste of Chicago is July 8–12 in Grant Park. Hours are 11 a.m.–9 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, and 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the FREE admission festival, call (312) 744-3316 or visit tasteofchicago.us.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (including upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors); and
  • Corporate Governance information.

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Humana Corporate Communications
Cathryn Donaldson, 312-441-5346