College + University Foodservice: Off-Campus Demand Fuels On-Campus Innovation

Chicago / IL. (tni) More likely than the overall population to start their day later, snack between meals, try unique cuisines and prioritize environmental and social responsibility, college students rely heavily on foodservice outlets – both on and off campus. As off-campus options become increasingly accessible and appealing, on-campus operations find innovation and flexibility necessary to stay competitive. According to Technomic’s «College + University Consumer Trend Report», on-campus foodservice is facing increasing pressure from restaurants and retailers touting inexpensive, fast fare that is also healthy and high-quality.

«On-campus operators must match the innovations of their off-campus counterparts», explains Sara Monnette, vice president at Technomic. «Creating their own unique concepts, offering a wider range of convenient and portable options, incorporating technology and extending serving hours can help drive sales and keep foodservice Dollars on campus».

View infographic: «Spotlight on College + University» (PDF) on Technomic´s web server.

From price and convenience to diet restrictions and menu transparency, myriad factors drive students’ foodservice decisions. Technomic’s «College + University Consumer Trend Report» measures these factors and their impact on foodservice usage, and identifies opportunities. Findings include:

74 percent of students visit on-campus foodservice locations weekly, justly slightly more than the 67 percent who visit off-campus restaurants one a week or more often. The main reasons cited for purchasing food or beverage on campus include convenience (62 percent), the desire to stay on campus (47 percent) and quicker service (34 percent). 46 percent of students, up from 37 percent in 2013, say it is important that the foodservice locations they visit are socially and environmentally responsible.