Disney World has a lot of great options that they use for Food Allergy prep and awareness.
One of the most fun things that people talk about on a trip to Disney World, are the Allergy Sticks. These sticks are placed in food items when they come from the kitchen, and typically have a ‘allergy’ label on them.
These sticks are not unique to Disney, and can be purchased online through retail and wholesale means. (You can even pick them up on Amazon or Walmart yourself, without getting them at meals from Disney).
Clearly Disney goes through a lot of these items with the Allergy orders, but we’ve been noticing that they are using blank sticks, as well as toothpicks as recently as December 2022.
Most recently, these plain sticks were seen at Magic Kingdom in Skipper Canteen Restaurant on January 12.
***As Always, please speak to a qualified restaurant employee when ordering food. In order to see the most accurate ingredients and risk assessment, you will need to confirm allergy safety in real-time. This is my personal experience, I am not employed or endorsed by companies or brands mentioned.***
Supply Chain Issue, Cost Cutting Move or Ordering Issue… Sticks could soon be seen without ‘Allergy’ Label
A Quick Google Search and I’ve found the exact sticks that Disney uses on property. These are Bamboo ‘picks’ used for notes like ‘Allergy’, or ‘Well Done’, or just to hold the items together like a traditional toothpick without the plastic.
When I look at prices, it’s common to see that the Allergy sticks are 2 to 3 times more expensive than the regular unlabeled sticks. Since there is extra work involved in branding the sticks, it’s not uncommon to see a higher price.
This image from a Webstaurant store was the perfect example. If you were to order 1000 picks at retail value, the price from a plain stick to an allergy stick was 3 times higher. While Disney gets a gigantic bulk discount, it’s unlikely that it’s exactly the same price as the plain picks.
There’s every reason to be suspicious that this could be a cost cutting method, as Disney has been through a lot in the last few months. One of the main topics of conversations on the quarterly Stock Holder Calls over the last year has been budget cutting methods, and Disney Company is currently on a hiring freeze.
Cutting out seemingly ‘extra’ costs, like paying for the ‘Allergy’ label on a stick could be one of the ways that Disney is coping with Stakeholder Demands. The CFO also mentioned reducing portion sizing (because we are too obese according to her) and other comments that were not well received.
It’s also true that Disney does not currently upcharge for Allergy Modifications, even though we know that Allergy brands and certifications are more expensive than non-allergy goods (And Disney is either negotiating or absorbing the cost to provide modifications).
Either Way, we’ll be keeping an eye out to let you know what to expect on your next trip to Disney World! The sticks are a very nice touch to a meal, but not required (as we all go for the golden touch of the Disney Chefs!).
We only hope that Disney is doing what’s best for the guests, and not nickel and diming our visits.
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