Infographic Snapshot: The Scoop On College Dining

We surveyed college students around the U.S. to find out their campus dining experiences, preferences, and behaviors…

Millennials see food as a reflection of their culture, passions, and status symbols, and they have heavily influenced the food industry as a whole—including their college dining halls. In 2015, higher education food service sales were expected to reach $16.2 billion—2.4% of the food industry total. With this kind of buying power, colleges and universities are expected to step up their game and cater to their food-savvy students. According to the founder of Spoon University—a website with food-related articles that focuses on college dining— “people are demanding higher quality, more innovation, and creativeness—dining halls have had to respond to that.”  What once was known as a cafeteria where the menu item of the day was “mystery meat” and the most edible food was a burger off the grill, has now at most universities been reshaped into a gourmet experience. Providers are looking beyond food, as students are now expecting their dining program as whole to reflect their values and ethics in the food, location, and in their messaging. To bring more insight to the industry, we surveyed college students to find out their thoughts on college dining programs, including what they like, and what they wish was better. Check out our infographic snapshot on the findings below! 

The full data and report for this survey is available to Gold subscribers here. Click here to contact us if you are interested in gaining access. 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies