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

Ideas and Innovation
torch flame

There’s more than one way to open a wine bottle. When a corkscrew is nowhere to be found, David Brue—chef de cuisine and production manager for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s central production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio—reaches for his butane torch.

“I can never find a corkscrew anywhere, but for some reason, I always have a torch,” Brue says. “Heat the neck of the bottle carefully, and the cork pops right out.”

Managing Your Business
uconn gluten free bakery

When Amarillo Independent School District opened a central bakery , the foodservice team faced years of challenges: getting a handle on equipment, refining recipes and planning for shrinkage, says Michael Brungo, residential district manager of dining services for Chartwells at the Amarillo, Texas, district. Through trial and error, the right solutions at the bakery—which provides sliced bread and sandwich buns for the district’s 55 schools—rose to the top.

Though kitchens in general can be a minefield of issues, bakeries present some unique challenges thanks in part to the finicky...

Managing Your Business
food safety manager paperwork

Food safety can be a lot to handle, requiring plenty of paperwork and diligence to ensure a kitchen complies with health regulations. It’s important to assess the structure of a food safety program —and to know what’s required, and what’s just good to have on hand.

In recent years, as Virginia Tech’s foodservice operations have expanded, so has its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points strategy. The Blacksburg, Va., university doubled its food safety staff to two employees, in addition to a training project coordinator and a manager to teach basic food safety classes to...

Ideas and Innovation
ticket stubs

Every week, our cooks pick an experimental kitchen project to expand their skills, culminating in a Friday contest where they cook a new dish that puts them out of their comfort zone. The winner of the weekly contest is awarded points and prizes. The cook with the most points at the end of the year receives a free ticket to an annual team gathering in Maine, where staffers bond and gain inspiration from coastal menus.

FSD Resources