Chicago – A growing demand for on campus food service exists among US college and university students, according to new data from Technomic. The latest Technomic College & University Trend Report shows that 69% of college students purchase food and beverage from on-campus foodservice facilities once a week or more. This is close to the 71% of college students who did so in 2009 and is a substantial gain from the 62% who paid visits to campus foodservice facilities once a week or more in 2011.
Other figures demonstrate room for foodservice and grocery retailers to expand their offerings on college campuses. For example, only 35% of students are satisfied with their school’s dining program, 44% of all students and 57% of students living on campus wish their school had grocery stores where they could shop using their meal plan and 66% of students regularly experiment with new foods and flavors.
"To keep the momentum going, campus dining operators will want to continually focus on improvements to menu variety, prices and atmosphere at on-campus dining venues," says Darren Tristano, executive VP of Technomic, Inc. "Menu variety in particular is key to retaining student patronage. Our year-over-year data indicates there's more demand for college and university foodservice menus that feature unique items, ethnic offerings and customization opportunities. Dining programs should work to address these preferences in order to keep valuable foodservice dollars on campus."