Thursday, August 18, 2011

College students: "Give us healthier food."


A recent poll by Technomic yielded surprising results regarding college-aged students and their dining preferences.  When asked about their school's dining program, only 28% of students claimed to be satisfied with the healthy offerings at their school.

Some trends Technomic includes in the new report include:
   Customization is an increasingly critical issue for college diners: nearly half of students polled (47%) said it is important that they can omit or substitute ingredients in their food.
   21% of students limit their meat consumption by sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet, eating only certain types of meat, or eating meat only occasionally.
   "Operators on and off campus could attract more students and increase the frequency of visits by refining their menus based on students’ desires.”

Talk about the student becoming the teacher: campus kitchens and restaurant operators alike can take a lesson from these results.  

What can your restaurant do to easily cater to this demographic?
   Encourage the concept of customization.  Consider a “build your own,” or a “you pick the combo,” option.
   Offer meat-free or meat substitutes as alternatives for vegetarians.
   Make nutrition information available for all or a select group of menu items, marking certain selections as lighter options.

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