Collegiate millennials shaping culinary trends of tomorrow

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

Profile 1: Dining Along the Meatless Spectrum: More students align themselves along the less-meat to meatless spectrum, from flexitarian to vegetarian to vegan and even raw diets.

Profile 2: The Mighty Chickpea: Inexpensive, versatile and packed with protein, the worldly chickpea fills students' bellies in myriad ways.

Profile 3: Nut Butters: A Protein Pal: Although Gen Y students grew up in a climate of peanut distrust due to the increase in children's allergies, college students today have embraced peanut butter's valuable protein power along with that of other nut butters, especially almond.

Profile 4: Fruit & Vegetable Discovery: New college students are discovering a whole new world of fruits and vegetables. On campus they encounter expansive salad bars, unfamiliar vegetable side dishes and unusual vegan and vegetarian fare. Friends, restaurants and student retail haunts like Trader Joe's introduce them to new dried fruit snacks, to-go salads and produce-centric beverages.

Profile 5: Asian Love Affair: We hear so much about how younger Millennials have grown up eating global cuisine, and the study found many young consumers continue the discovery in college. Thanks to dining halls and nearby ethnic restaurants, students have many opportunities to try new foods. While flavor is the primary driver, other qualities attract students such as the vegetarian possibilities and robust amount of vegetables. Customization is another draw.

Profile 6: Italian & Mexican: Familiar Comfort: While college is a time to explore new foods and diets, it's also really stressful. Sometimes a kid needs a little comfort, something familiar, warm and filling. That's where Italian and Mexican cuisines come in.

Profile 7: On-the-Go Fare: "Easy to make." "Portable." "Eat quickly." "Eat as I walk to class." These are the refrains coming from our student survey respondents about their "go-to" foods.

--CSP Daily News

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

Ideas and Innovation
tug hospital robot

Automation has opened up in recent years as foodservice operators across the country grapple with labor shortages. Robots deliver food trays to patients in hospitals, and they make sushi on college campuses. For some operators, they’re worthwhile to reduce strain on human employees and increase productivity.

Robots roamed the hallways when the University of California San Francisco Medical Center’s new Mission Bay campus opened last year. Though these robots have nicknames like Wall-E and Tuggie McFresh, they’re not a novelty. They’re a solution to a problem that administrators...

Ideas and Innovation
business card

We get the new folks abridged business cards saying, “Hi, my name is so-and-so and I work in nutrition department.” We thought it would give them more ownership of the program and elevate their status and position in the organization. It also gives our team more self-confidence and self-worth as an employee, which can be a challenge with foodservice workers.

FSD Resources