It’s no secret that branding in foodservice can be a formidable force. Consumers gravitate toward brands they recognize and trust, and, moreover, they associate those familiar brands with high-quality products.
In non-commercial foodservice, nowhere is the power of branding more potent than in the C&U segment, where recognizable brands can offer students the comfort of home. That’s why Residential & Dining Enterprises at Stanford University, when looking for a way to provide students with additional healthy and delicious choices, chose to partner with one of the most well-known—and well-loved—brands: Barilla.
According to Kimberle Badinelli, director of marketing and brand strategy, R&DE Stanford Dining frequently builds relationships with key manufacturing partners, and as a leader in the foodservice industry, Barilla was a natural choice. “We recognize the value of forming partnerships with well-known and high-quality brands to offer students an outstanding dining experience,” she says. “Barilla has a high brand awareness and brand quality, so our students recognize that R&DE Stanford Dining is serving a high-quality product.”
R&DE Stanford Dining operates 11 dining hall locations and serves over 12,000 meals daily across all operations. Since the start of its partnership with Barilla, which was implemented in 2006, Barilla pasta has been served throughout all 11 dining halls and on a cook-to-order pasta bar, which gives students the opportunity to build their own pasta dishes with a variety of scratch-made sauces, proteins and produce.
According to Badinelli, the pasta bar is very popular with student customers. They’re able to easily create dishes such as Pasta Fagioli, which features Barilla’s whole-grain penne pasta, cherry tomatoes, beans and kale, as well as comforting dishes such as Baked Butternut Squash Penne with Panko & Gingersnap Topping.
The university’s partnership with Barilla has allowed it to better serve students, something that’s at the heart of its operation. “R&DE Stanford Dining is dedicated to putting students first, continuously innovating to meet and exceed the changing needs of students,” says Badinelli. “The Barilla pasta program has meshed wonderfully with [our] vision to enhance wellness and provide exceptional service and delicious food.”
Additionally, the variety of Barilla’s products means that R&DE Stanford Dining is able menu a variety of choices that appeal to students with dietary accommodations. For example, it operates a gluten-free micro-kitchen in one of the dining commons that features Barilla’s gluten-free pasta every Sunday evening for students who require gluten-free options. “The unique qualities of these product lines allow [us] to meet the diverse dietary needs of students and increase satisfaction with menu variety,” says Badinelli.
For more information on how you can partner with Barilla, please email BarillaTeam@summitmg.com.
This post is sponsored by Barilla