Canadian Vending

Features Consumer Behaviour Trends
Nearly half of U.S. students want socially and environmentally responsible foodservice options: report


July 28, 2015
By Canadian Vending

Topics

Chicago – Forty-six per cent of U.S. students, up from 37 per cent in 2013, say it is important that the foodservice locations they visit are socially and environmentally responsible.

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 research firm 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,” said Sara Monnette, vice-president at Technomic, in a news release. “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.”

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From price and convenience to diet restrictions and menu transparency, myriad factors drive students’ foodservice decisions. The report measures these factors and their impact on foodservice usage, and identifies opportunities. Findings include:

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

The full report is available here.