Most university dining experiences have changed significantly in recent years. They’ve traded up by offering healthier and more creative options. Today’s college students are nutrition savvy. They’ve grown up in a time where terms such as “farm-to-table” and “sustainable” are part of their culinary vocabulary. They want to know where their food comes from, what it will do for them and why they should eat it. And they want it to taste good, too.
Catering to these discerning palates is not the only challenge for on-campus dining halls. Meeting diverse dietary needs is also a concern. More and more students are turning to gluten-free, vegan and other specialized diets. Technomic’s recent College and University Consumer Trend Report revealed that nearly half (49%) of college and university students avoid some type of meat or animal products, and slightly more than half (54%) of students say it’s important to eat healthy and pay attention to nutrition. With that in mind, interesting choices need to be readily available.
Finding simple solutions that satisfy
College and university food service departments have to step up to the plate. And though quality is key, convenience also gets top billing.
Ready-made products that provide back-of-the-house solutions not only meet students’ expectations, but they also save time and money for the foodservice department. For instance, ready-made guacamole and avocado products help reduce the amount of time it takes kitchen staff to prep meals with the popular ingredient.
Pre-made or speed-scratch ingredients are an ideal solution for ensuring menus are diverse, great-tasting and easy to prepare. In today’s college environment, these are all sought-after qualities for students, other diners and the kitchen staff alike.
Top-ranked colleges know quality food counts
Top-ranked colleges offer outstanding on-campus dining. These institutions have become destinations where students can easily access healthy, quality food across a wide range of cuisines and dietary preferences. It’s more than likely that some of the most popular dishes on the menu are created with the help of prepared, speed-scratch ingredients such as sliced, ready-to-use avocados.
For instance, UCLA has won awards for vegan-friendliness and offers a host of nutritious and innovative options. Rather than having a tired breakfast sandwich, students can opt to start the day with some steamed barley and ground chicken sautéed with sliced mushrooms, Swiss chard and caramelized onions topped with fresh avocado.
At College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, students have choices such as shrimp cakes, Thai green curry with vegetables and avocado soup. James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA offers gluten-free jambalaya, black bean burgers with avocado, and BLT bruschetta.
Creating quality is not that difficult when operators work with ingredients that are easy to use, easy to source and can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes and menus.
Speed-scratch ingredients such as ready-to-use avocado mean less work for kitchen staff and tasty dishes for diners. What’s not to love?
This post is sponsored by MegaMex Foodservice