Collegiate millennials shaping culinary trends of tomorrow

"On-the-go fare" among food needs driven by 18- to 22-year-olds.

College millennials' current needs for powerful nutrition, flavorful food, comfort and indulgence and speed and convenience are driving their food choices, which in turn shape the culinary trends of tomorrow.

As incoming college freshmen pack their bags for school this fall, many will be saying goodbye not only to family, but also to existing eating habits. Thanks to innovative campus foodservice, adventurous restaurants and the influence of new acquaintances, impressionable students are exposed to new foods that quickly turn into favorites. They develop new eating habits and expectations that will stick with them long after graduation, impacting the food industry for decades, according to the recently released Collegiate Gen Y Eating: Culinary Trend Mapping Report by market research publisher Packaged Facts and strategic food and beverage innovation agency CCD Innovation.

"The college environment, with its campus food courts, self-serve bars and convenience stores along with plenty of nearby cheap global eats, offers students an exceptional opportunity to experience new foods, flavor profiles and eating styles," said Kimberly Egan, CEO of CCD Innovation, San Francisco. "Just as minds expand in the classroom, palates expand in college and are forever altered. The food industry will need to respond to these adventurous consumers as they leave campus and start earning their own paychecks."

To get an inside look at the dynamics of food attitudes and behaviors of the nearly 20 million 18- to 22-year-olds who are currently attending college, CCD Innovation conducted several online quantitative research studies in late 2011 and spring 2012 at several college campuses nationwide. From this research comes the basis of the report, which outlines seven culinary behaviors or preferences this cohort is developing that are distinct from previous generations.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
WinCup foam food containers

From WinCup.

Cost control.

Two little words that are essential to every foodservice director’s day-to-day activities.

Keeping costs in check is paramount in running a functioning food operation, of course. But the ripples of cost control can extend beyond your bottom line. And savvy directors must balance customer satisfaction on the P&L sheet.

Fiscal Responsibility

The foundation of cost control is accepting fiscal responsibility, which requires a solid understanding of foodservice accounting. Prime cost, the combined cost of food and labor, is an...

Industry News & Opinion

Orange County Community College in upstate New York is replacing its dining staff with vending machines , The Times Herald-Record reports.

The staff members, who will be let go in June, include nine full-time and three part-time workers. Students say they will miss the employees and the access to fresh food.

The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

Read the full story via The Times Herald-Record .

Industry News & Opinion

Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is eliminating paper cups in its Commons dining hall and has given each student a reusable stainless steel mug as a replacement, bates.edu reports.

The mugs were distributed via a promotion earlier this week where students could fill their new mugs with a free smoothie. Stickers and other trinkets were set out for students to use to “bling” their mugs.

Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

Read the...

Industry News & Opinion

Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

FSD Resources