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

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

FSD Resources