What are college students saying about their food services program?

1,500 college students were part of a dining experience research conducted by Foodservice Director’s (FSD) as part of its 2017 College and University (C&U) Consumer Trend Report.

Whereas FSD’s C&U reporting generally spotlights operators’ challenges and ideas, their policies all stem from diners’ desires and needs. We have put together a quick read summary below.

What college students are eating:

  • 16% purchase late-night snacks
  • 19% are more likely to buy dinner on campus
  • 20% follow a special diet such as vegetarian or vegan
    • 34% say their school does a good job filling their needs
    • 49% of students age 18-24 avoid any meat or animal products.
    • 11% report some sort of food allergy with the most common being dairy, followed by peanuts, shellfish and wheat/gluten
  • 38% purchase afternoon snacks
  • 42% purchase midmorning snacks
  • 42% students would most likely to order international foods
  • 46% of students are eating to-go meals
  • 43% choose fresh fruit as their preferred snack
  • 52% choose eggs as the most preferred breakfast food, followed by cold cereal at 37%

College students:

  • use new technology to have their meals delivered, 17%
  • are more likely to buy dinner on campus, 19%
  • are satisfied with their college/university’s foodservice facilities, 35%
  • still eat in the dining hall, 37%
  • reported that they would like the campus foodservice to stay open later, 52%.
  • prefer the made-to-order stations (prepared by a chef) and build-your-own meal stations (prepared by the student) for on-campus dining, 65%

Click on 2017 C&U Census: Diner’s Choice to read the entire article.

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