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Lila vs. Otis: Evaluating the Feasibility and Impact of a Continental Breakfast Menu Change Joyanna Hansen

Lila vs. Otis: Evaluating the Feasibility and Impact of a Continental Breakfast Menu Change Joyanna Hansen & Jeremy O’Neal OHSU Dietetic Internship Program Due: September 16, 2013

Executive Summary

The Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) Bionutrition Unit at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) currently provides continental breakfast meals to many participants in OHSU research studies. Many of these participants are required to fast for several hours before participating in study procedures and may spend several hours undergoing various nutrition-related assessments; it is important for these participants to have a satisfactory experience. Currently, the only breakfast options include plain bagels, cereal, yogurt, Otis Spunkmeyer blueberry muffins, and other ready-to-eat items procured from OHSU. This feasibility study addresses the nutritional benefits and financial challenges of replacing the current pre-packaged Otis Spunkmeyer muffins with healthy, homemade bran muffins. The ultimate goal of this proposal is to increase the participants’ overall satisfaction with their experience as research volunteers by improving the breakfast menu.

Background Information

The OCTRI Bionutrition Unit plays an important role in facilitating many nutrition-related research studies at OHSU. Currently, the Bionutrition Unit provides continental breakfast to many participants taking part in OHSU research studies; many of these studies involve procedures such as indirect calorimetry or blood draws, which require participants to be fasted. After the procedures are completed, the Bionutrition Unit provides a continental breakfast. Currently, OCTRI offers a limited continental breakfast menu including items such as plain bagels, cereal, yogurt, pre-packaged muffins, and other basic foods. The Bionutrition Unit would like to offer a fresher and healthier breakfast option to research participants who are volunteering their time to help out with a study while keeping overall costs the same.

Compiled Proposal


The stakeholders for this project include the OCTRI research participants and Bionutritionists. This will benefit the research participants’ health by offering a nutritious option on the breakfast menu that satiates and provides a source of whole grain. The organization will benefit as offering healthy, satisfying options to research participants may increase participant satisfaction. However, the Bionutrition Unit will have to factor in additional labor required to prepare the muffins.

Nutritional Analysis

We propose replacing the current Otis Spunkmeyer pre-packaged blueberry muffin on the continental breakfast menu with “Lila’s Oat Chip Muffin” (Appendix A). Table 1 presents a nutritional comparison of these two muffins. The Otis Spunkmeyer muffin is less nutritionally dense than the Lila’s Oat Chip Muffin. One Otis

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Spunkmeyer muffin includes 220 Calories and 9 grams of fat including 2 grams of saturated fat. On the other hand, one Lila’s muffin has a difference of 76 Calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 13 grams of sugar, 30 grams of cholesterol, and 130 grams of sodium when compared to the Otis Spunkmeyer muffin. Additionally, one Lila’s muffin has 3.5 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein per muffin more than one Otis Spunkmeyer muffin. See table for the exact nutritional detail amongst the muffins.

Table 1. Nutrition Comparison of Lila’s Oat Chip Muffins versus Otis Spunkmeyer Muffins


Lila's Oat Chip Muffin

Otis Spunkmeyer Muffin

Difference: Lila’s muffin compared to Otis muffin

Calories (kcal)




Fat (g)


  • 9 -5

Saturated Fat (g)


  • 2 -1

Carbohydrates (g)




Fiber (g)




Sugar (g)




Protein (g)




Cholesterol (mg)




Sodium (mg)




Budget Analysis

Currently, it would cost slightly more to make a 24-count batch of Lila’s muffins compared to purchasing a 24- count package of Otis Spunkmeyer muffins. Over half of the expense per muffin is attributed to labor costs, which are estimated to be $30/hour for a Bionutritionist (estimates obtained from the Bionutrition Unit manager). Due to the high labor cost, we propose two options to reduce the cost per muffin of Lila’s recipe. First, the Bionutrition Unit should prepare the muffins in a 48-count batch, which would reduce the cost per muffin to $0.90/each as a result of decreased labor costs (Appendix B) and make Lila’s muffins slightly cheaper than the Otis Spunkmeyer muffins. The muffins are to be frozen in the current freezing unit until needed. Second, a volunteer or non-RD could prepare the muffins, which will significantly reduce the labor cost and make Lila’s muffins less expensive than the current Otis Spunkmeyer muffins. No additional equipment would be needed, and additional ingredients will be obtained during the weekly grocery trip.

The Bionutrition Unit provides approximately 100 continental breakfasts each month.

Table 2 below shows

the food cost per muffin based on a certain percentage of research participants choosing the muffin. Lila’s

muffins are presented in a 48-count as this is the most economical and recommended preparation option.

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Table 2. Analyzing Food Costs of Both Muffins, Factoring in Percentage of Sales

Cost if this percentage of

Otis Spunkmeyer muffin

Lila’s muffin ($0.90/each if

participants choose the muffin:


prepared in 48-muffin batches)











Our marketing plan for this menu item replacement is through word of mouth from OCTRI research participants and Bionutritionists.


Since the muffin recipe has already been tested and developed, this project could actually be implemented immediately at least as a pilot project beginning at the “Determine Labor force (RD, volunteers)” step as this needs to be approved by management. “Lila’s Oat Chip Muffins” are to be initially placed on the menu alongside the Otis Spunkmeyer for a 2-month period. The Gantt chart (Appendix C) lists details of each specific step for the project development. The black lines in the middle of each task bar represent completion of the task. We have organized the tasks into four major headings including Preliminary Research, Preliminary Product Design, Pilot Trial Phase, and Implementation Phase. The final ‘go-live’ date for this replacement to be permanent is October 31, 2013. See Gantt chart (Appendix C) for complete task detail for each specific category with projected due dates.


Overall, we recommend replacing the Otis Spunkmeyer muffins with Lila’s Oat Chip Muffins on the Bionutrition Unit’s continental breakfast menu. Lila’s muffin is nutritionally superior to the Otis Spunkmeyer muffin in calories, fat, added sugar, protein, fiber, and other nutrients making this muffin a healthier breakfast option. Although the cost for Lila’s muffins would be slightly higher than the existing option at the current production rate, making this muffin in larger quantities or using non-RD labor to make the muffins will greatly decrease the associated costs and make this a cheaper option than the current Otis Spunkmeyer muffins.

More broadly, this menu item change will support Oregon Health and Science University's mission to become a public resource for health, education, and research. Having a healthier option for breakfast will educate the public about tasty alternatives that do not need high levels of fat and sugar. Additionally, diversifying options for breakfast will possibly increase participant satisfaction, thus increasing the overall research participation rate.

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Appendix A: Recipe for Lila’s Oat Chip Muffins


  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal

Lila’s Oat Chip Muffins

  • 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oatmeal

  • 1 ½ cup skim milk 1/3 cup molasses

¼ cup egg substitute

½ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

1/3 cup chopped walnuts ¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl combine Fiber One, oatmeal, milk and molasses. Let sit about

15 minutes. Add egg substitute. Stir in flours and baking soda. Add walnuts and chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin papers that have been sprayed and wiped with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes; until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

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Appendix B: Tentative Budget
Appendix B: Tentative Budget

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Appendix C: Work Task Gantt Chart

Muffin 6 Appendix C: Work Task Gantt Chart