Foodservice Equipment Reports

Technomic’s College Survey Reveals Revenue Opportunities For Healthier Menus

A wish for later hours and wider menu choices is not an unexpected response to a foodservice survey of college students. But according to new market data from Technomic Inc., the nation’s 16 million college and university students are less than satisfied with their healthy food options on campus.

“Despite the fact that 62% of students surveyed say they eat at on-campus dining facilities at least weekly, only 28% of students are satisfied with the healthy offerings at their school, and only 34% express overall satisfaction with their school’s dining facilities,” said Sara Monnette, Technomic’s director-consumer research. These students’ whims pack a powerful economic punch; they wield more than $300 billion in spending power. “Operators on and off campus could attract more students and increase the frequency of visits by refining their menus based on students’ desires,” Monnette added.

According to Technomic’s “College and University Consumer Trend Report,” 44% of college students surveyed said their school’s dining program influenced their choice of school, yet only 32% said their school does a good job of making sure students are pleased with the overall dining program.

Other key findings: Nearly half of surveyed students said it is important that they can omit or substitute ingredients in their food. More than 20% of students limit their consumption of meat by following a vegetarian or vegan diet; and 48% would like more on-campus dining facilities to stay open later at night.