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. 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Which brands had the most YouTube subscribers in 2018? In media, Warner Bros. topped the list with 6.4 million subscribers, followed by BBC and ESPN. Apple beat out last year’s winner for tech PlayStation, while Red Bull and Ford remained the reigning champs of food and beverage and automotive, respectively. Finally, Nike was first place in the clothing category for the second year running, with 30,000 more subscribers than their closest competitor, Adidas. (Tubefilter)

A “Little League for esports” is fostering future esports stars—and fans for life. Super League Gaming is bringing some much-needed organization to youth competitive gaming, building teams of young Minecraft, League of Legends, and Clash Royal players, helping them train and compete. But the program isn’t just for the next Ninja; just like traditional sports, kids get a sense of community among like-minded friends. (AP News)

Nielsen reports that Millennials actually consume less media than older demos, but more of it is digital. While the average adult consumes over ten hours of content a day, 18-34-year-olds spend less than eight hours with media. And the heaviest smartphone users are 35-49-year-olds, who spend 20 minutes more each day on average with their phones than Millennials. However, the younger demo does spend 44% of their media time with digital devices, more than older demos that spend more time with TV as they age up. (THR)

Vitaminwater is wagering $100,000 that you can’t give up your smartphone for a year. Contestants have to disconnect from internet-enabled devices where “texting is a pleasant experience” for 365 days and post a pic to Twitter or Instagram explaining why they need the digital detox. And when the year’s up, they have to prove it. Considering that 65% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they would be unable to unplug from their smartphones for a week, earning that $100,000 may be harder than they know. (Fortune)

Hard seltzer revenue skyrocketed over 400% over the past 18 months. White Claw leads the way for the category with top-of-the-results organic search (they’re the number one Google result for “hard seltzer”) and a social media presence that focuses on health and wellness-related imagery. Sparkling water is already one of Millennials’ favorite things to drink, and its hard version could rise through the ranks of their top alcoholic beverages. (Gartner)

Quote of the Day: “People call [video game culture] nerdy but I see nerdy as a positive connotation.”—Female, 28, MA

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