Dessert snapshot

The operators peg fruit to grow.

Fruit, by far, is the dessert category that operators expect to grow the most in the next two years (42%). It already has the highest percentage of total dessert sales (23%). The next growth category is ice cream/frozen treats, at 17%, followed by cakes, at 16%, which were both largely buoyed by colleges; 38% of colleges expect growth in ice cream/frozen treats and 25% expect growth in cakes. Cookies, at 22%, also have a high percentage of total dessert sales. 

Schools, at 51%, were the most likely segment not to expect growth in any dessert category, due in large part to new meal regulations, which make it difficult for desserts to be sold in schools. One-third of the overall non-commercial market expects no growth in this area.

Fruit
Overall 42% of respondents expect fruit to be the most popular dessert growth category. For Dave Manz, district manager for the Pittsburgh market of Parkhurst Dining, fruit is not only being promoted as a healthier option, but his customers are also asking for it. “In the catering realm, when we do offer dessert, we offer fruit as second option,” he explains.

Ice cream
Nearly 40% of colleges and universities indicate that the biggest growth area for dessert will come from ice cream/frozen treats. “It’s kind of a no-brainer,” observes Scot Ostrander, food administrator at Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb. “Everyone loves ice cream … for college kids, it reminds them of home.” Several colleges and universities have also started offering gelato, which will also impact growth for this menu category.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

Sponsored Content
gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

Industry News & Opinion

Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

FSD Resources