The Moose is loose at Detroit Medical Center's Children's Hospital. Bruce the Moose has also been spotted at two other locations: St. Louis Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
The connection is not just that these are all primary care facilities for sick children, but that their dining services are managed by Morrison Management Specialists. That's because Morrison developed Bruce as part of a recently unveiled comprehensive menu program called Moose on the Loose that is designed especially for children's hospital environments.
Bruce the Moose is the mascot for the program, but it also entails a menu designed to appeal to sick children. Selections include a meat loaf “cupcake” with mashed potato “frosting” and chopped carrot “sprinkles” and chicken fingers breaded with healthy quinoa.
The program was designed by a team of Morrison chefs, managers and marketers using focus group data that showed sick children craving interaction, while parents wanted more nutrition, says Morrison's marketing services director Andrea Woods-Flennoy.
“It was also influenced by Michaelle Obama's call to combat childhood obesity,” she notes.
As for Bruce, “he's on the loose and kids have to find him,” Wooods-Flennoy says. “Kids in hospitals are looking for interaction because they are bored,” and the moose will occasionally be used to deliver healthful eating messages, but his primary purpose is to lift spirits, to be “just fun.”