Busy students with full schedules—and big appetites—often don’t have time to linger over meals. To match their fast-paced lives, grab and go has become a mainstay on college and university campuses around the country.
And while eating on the run is nothing new, today’s grab and go choices need to please savvy students who want fresh, healthful and delicious food that’s packaged in a responsible, sustainable manner.
A great fit
At Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, the foodservice department cooks with natural ingredients and includes locally grown, seasonal produce, eggs, dairy and meat products whenever possible, says Andrew Costanzo, production manager of dining services.
“Using packaging that aligns with the food is important,” says Costanzo, who uses Planglow USA packaging products. “Not only does it look natural, but the appearance and feel is great.”
Costanzo says that the combination of the brown, earthy material and the fact that the products are compostable fit well with the campus culture. And the modern look is visually appealing. “The box is really angular, which is kind of cool,” he says.
Visibility a plus
At the Evergreen Café at Alfred State University in New York, sustainability is also a priority on campus, says Zach Canne, retail supervisor. He says that the Planglow USA products align perfectly with the artisan/bistro feel of this grab-and-go coffee shop that serves locally sourced coffee, panini and salads.
As he revamps his menu, says Canne, he plans to integrate Planglow USA products into fun, less conventional ways to serve the food.
But equally important are the see-through windows on the containers, bags and boxes. “It’s a huge benefit to see the food before you choose it,” says Canne. “Planglow USA allows us to display our food so the kids know what they’re getting.”
A fresh, clean look
Those windows are also indispensable to Shannon McLin, food service director at South Seattle College in Washington. Bernie’s Café provides grab-and-go foods such as pastries, salads, smoothies and sandwiches to a bustling crowd of students, many of them international—from the Middle East, Asia and even Ethiopia.
“When they see the menu, they don’t know what it is on the board, but when they can see the actual food, they’re more likely to buy it,” says McLin.
The fresh, consistent look of Planglow USA’s packaging and coordinating labels help contribute to an overall crisp, clean feel in the café. “We were recently purchased by a new company and they said, ‘yours is one of the best-looking grab and go locations we’ve ever seen anywhere,’” says McLin.
Knowing that her customers are pressed for time, McLin says it shouldn’t be complicated for them to choose what they want to eat. The three Planglow USA labels she uses allow her to indicate the date, if the food is vegetarian and whether or not it contains allergens.
“They don’t want to wait. They want to go and see what it is, that it’s fresh, grab it, pay and leave,” she says. “You eat first with your eyes—it has to look good.”
This post is sponsored by Planglow