CHICAGO, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hungry college and university students rely more on off-campus foodservice outlets than on-campus dining venues. Recent research by Technomic shows that, on average, the majority (59 per cent) of U.K. students' food and beverage purchases are made off-campus. Just 41 per cent of students' meals and snacks, on average, are sourced on-campus. This finding exposes a clear opportunity for college and university foodservice to boost patronage at campus dining locations.
"There's a big gap to fill in terms of on-campus foodservice meeting the needs of students," says Darren Tristano, Sr. Managing Director of Technomic, Inc. "While campus dining has a huge advantage in the convenience arena, they're losing traffic due to a lack of variety. College and university dining operators must present a wider array of menu options, dining concepts, meal plans and service formats if they want to gain a greater share of students' foodservice visits."
[View related INFOGRAPHIC: Spotlight on U.K. College & University Foodservice]
To help foodservice executives understand the latest consumer behaviours, preferences and attitudes regarding college and university foodservice, Technomic has released its U.K. College & University Consumer Trend Report. Key findings include:
- More than half (55 per cent) of students say they visit off-campus restaurants instead of purchasing food on campus because off-campus outlets offer a wider variety of options.
- Two-fifths (40 per cent) of students polled agree that they would like on-campus foodservice operations to remain open later at night. When deciding where to dine, nearly half (46 per cent) place high importance on late-night serving hours.
- About two out of three students (65 per cent) enjoy trying new types of food from time to time. Nearly three out of 10 want to see a wider assortment of unique (33 per cent) and ethnic (27 per cent) foods and beverages available on campus.
Technomic's U.K. College & University Consumer Trend Report provides comprehensive research on the latest menu and consumer trends surrounding on-campus foodservice, organised into three major sections:
Menu Insights—Technomic's exclusive MenuMonitor data is used to reveal leading menu items across dayparts and mealparts at 10 of the top U.K. universities.
Consumer Insights—an in-depth examination of consumption, attitudes and purchasing decisions for on-campus foodservice based on findings from an exclusive survey of 1,000 full-time students.
Outlook: Trends to Watch—a discussion of grab-and-go service formats, ethnic foods and flavours, sustainability, and other emerging trends that are poised to impact the college and university foodservice sector.
Technomic publishes a complete library of consumer trend reports. To learn more, please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below. For Technomic updates, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or our blog.
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Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.