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Colleges and Universities Foodservice - US - May 2014

“A student’s time in college is a unique experience, and the role of university dining services is just as special. This is the pivotal time where students’ eating habits are formed, and college students are willing and eager to learn more about the foods they consume. The role of foodservice on-campus is not just to feed them, but to also instill the knowledge and eating habits that students want to exude for the rest of their lives. This can provide college and university dining services with the differentiating dining factor to compete against off-campus commercial restaurants.”
– Katrina Fajardo, Foodservice Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • What are the biggest roadblocks for college and university foodservice?
  • How should dining services re-engage the student body?
  • What food or beverage opportunities still remain for college foodservice?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Mintel Menu Insights
            • Sales data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • College and university foodservice has posted steady growth since 2009
                          • Figure 1: Total US retail sales of college and university foodservice, at current prices, 2009-14
                        • Steady, but confident growth is forecast for college and university foodservice
                          • Figure 2: Fan chart of market value for college and university foodservice sales, at current prices, 2009-19
                        • Market drivers
                          • Key players in the market
                            • Figure 3: Total US retail sales of college and university managed services and self-managed services foodservice, at current prices, 2010-15
                          • The consumer
                            • On-campus snacks are a top opportunity to entice students
                              • Figure 4: Meals and snacks by where purchased (on-campus versus off-campus) (means), February 2014
                            • Students find off-campus restaurants to have more selection and are rated higher on affordability
                              • Figure 5: Primary reasons for dining on-campus, February 2014
                              • Figure 6: Primary reasons for dining off-campus, February 2014
                            • College students want affordable meals, along with healthy, flavorful, and customizable
                              • Figure 7: On-campus dining improvements, February 2014
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • What are the biggest roadblocks for college and university foodservice?
                                  • The issues
                                    • The implications
                                      • How should dining services re-engage the student body?
                                        • The issues
                                          • The implications
                                            • What food or beverage opportunities still remain for college foodservice?
                                              • The issues
                                                • The implications
                                                • Trend Application

                                                    • Trend: Non-Standard Society
                                                      • Trend: The Real Thing
                                                        • Trend: Life Hacking
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Market size insight
                                                              • Sales and forecast of college and university foodservice
                                                                • Figure 8: Total US retail sales of college and university foodservice, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                • Figure 9: Total US retail sales of college and university foodservice, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Self-managed is projected to hold steady
                                                                • Figure 10: Total US retail sales of college and university self-managed services foodservice, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Managed foodservice is the engine of growth for the next five years
                                                                • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of college and university managed services foodservice, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                  • Figure 12: Fan chart of market value for college and university foodservice sales, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Traditional four-year, for-profit colleges are losing enrollment; public colleges and online institutions are growing
                                                                    • College students are harder hit by unemployment
                                                                      • Figure 13: US Unemployment Rate, by month, 2002-14
                                                                    • The American melting pot brings more prospective students
                                                                      • Figure 14: US population by race and Hispanic origin, 2009, 2014, and 2019
                                                                    • Shift in US demographics makes for smaller incoming college class counts
                                                                      • Figure 15: US population, by age, 2009-19
                                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                    • Social meals
                                                                      • Food trucks
                                                                        • Beverages
                                                                          • Food courts
                                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                                            • Quick service restaurants
                                                                              • Fast casual restaurants
                                                                                • At-home meals
                                                                                • Campus Dining Usage

                                                                                    • Non-commercial foodservice locations on-campus have a captive audience
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Campus meal plan usage, February 2014
                                                                                    • Campus meal plans remain a large part in funding foodservice occasions
                                                                                      • Engaging students who sparingly use on-campus cafeterias is the largest opportunity
                                                                                      • Campus Dining Frequency

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • More meals are sourced off-campus than on-campus during the week, especially on weekends
                                                                                            • Figure 17: Meals and snacks by where purchased (on-campus) (means), February 2014
                                                                                          • On-campus snacking is a source of opportunity
                                                                                          • Campus Dining Drivers and Attitudes

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Students are driven by the convenience of on-campus eateries
                                                                                                • Figure 18: Attitudes toward on-campus dining, February 2014
                                                                                              • Three out of four students would like an interactive, on-campus dining app
                                                                                                • While variety is available, some students are bored with on-campus cafeteria offerings
                                                                                                  • Quality beats out affordability for on-campus dining
                                                                                                  • College and University Analysis

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • The majority of college students are seeking less expensive on-campus foods
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: On-campus dining improvements, by gender, February 2014
                                                                                                      • Health desires of students span from salads to locally sourced and organic
                                                                                                        • Students want to see more flavorful and ethnic options on-campus
                                                                                                          • Customizable and combos are a demand among college students
                                                                                                          • Menu Analysis

                                                                                                            • On-campus menus will need to step up their game in order to compete with off-campus offerings
                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Quality of foods/beverages ordered on-campus and off-campus, by gender, February 2014
                                                                                                            • Top proteins at colleges and universities include chicken, pork, and tofu
                                                                                                              • Vegetables are one of the top menued items at colleges and universities
                                                                                                                • Vegetarian/vegan is the top menu item claim
                                                                                                                  • Burgers are popping up on more college menus – but are they hitting the spot for college students?
                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Top 10 menu item dishes at universities, by incidence, second half 2013
                                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                  • Overview
                                                                                                                    • College students have a pulse on healthful eating and sustainability
                                                                                                                      • Convenience can keep students on-campus
                                                                                                                        • Variety is the spice of life for on-campus dining halls
                                                                                                                          • Intertwining technology and the on-campus dining experience
                                                                                                                            • Students seek out affordability when they dine out
                                                                                                                            • Consumer Data – Overview

                                                                                                                                • Overall usage of on-campus eateries based on drivers
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Primary reasons for dining on-campus or off-campus, February 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Healthy food is desired by nearly all students
                                                                                                                                    • College students want more flavors and ethnic foods from menus
                                                                                                                                      • Customizable and combo meals are important to college students
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Gender

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Women want to see healthier items at college and university cafeterias, while men seek combo meals and flavorful foods
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Quality of foods/beverages ordered on-campus, by gender, February 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: On-campus dining improvements, by gender, February 2014
                                                                                                                                            • On-campus coffee offerings are not up to par, according to women
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Quality of foods/beverages ordered on- and off-campus, by gender, February 2014
                                                                                                                                            • On-campus dining drivers vary between men and women
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Primary reasons for dining on-campus, by gender, February 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Data – By Age of College Student

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Older students are not engaged users of college foodservice
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Meals and snacks by where purchased (on- or off-campus) (means), by age, February 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Flavorful and locally sourced foods are a demand from younger college students
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: On-campus dining improvements, by age, February 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Data – By Race

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Meal plan usage ranges by race
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Campus meal plan usage, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Improvements for on-campus dining varies by race
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: On-campus dining improvements, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • White, Black, and Asian students are dining off-campus to satisfy needs that are not met at school
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Primary reasons for dining on-campus, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Primary reasons for dining off-campus, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Data – By Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Snacking occasions are important to Hispanic students
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Meals and snacks by where purchased (on-campus) (means), by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Hispanics are interested in vegetarian/vegan, combo meals, ethnic foods, beverages, and socializing at on-campus dining locations
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: On-campus dining improvements, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Hispanic college students are generally satisfied with their on-campus dining options, especially when it comes down to sustainability, value, and food quality
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Attitudes toward on-campus dining, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Data – By Educational Status/Goals

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Junior colleges struggle to retain students for on-campus meals
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Campus meal plan usage, by educational status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Healthy is desired among students seeking bachelor’s and master’s/doctoral degrees
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: On-campus dining improvements, by educational goal, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Living Situation

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Students who live at home/on their own do not utilize on-campus eateries as often and seek affordable options
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Campus meal plan usage, by living location, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: On-campus dining improvements, by living location, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Off-campus meals for students who live in dorms is driven by their friends
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Primary reasons for dining off-campus, by living location, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer Data – By Meal Plan Status

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Drivers differ among students with and without meal plans when eating on-campus
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Primary reasons for dining on-campus, by meal plan status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                            • Health and lifestyle
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: American adults by weight category as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-Oct. 28, 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Childhood and teen obesity – highest in decades
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19, 1971-2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer confidence
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment (ICS), 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                              • Unemployment
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: US unemployment rate, by month, 2002-13
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: US unemployment and underemployment rates, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Number of employed civilians in US, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                              • Retail channels
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Distribution of expenditures on food for off-premise consumption, by channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                              • Racial, ethnic population growth
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: US population by race and Hispanic origin, 2009, 2014, and 2019
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Shifting US demographics
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: US population, by age, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size

                                                                                                                                                                • Self-managed foodservice
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Total US retail sales of college and university self-managed services foodservice, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Fan chart of market value for self-managed college and university foodservice sales, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                                • Managed services foodservice
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Total US retail sales of college and university managed services foodservice, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Fan chart of market value for managed services college and university foodservice sales, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer data: by gender
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Campus meal plan usage, by gender, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer data: by age of college student
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: On-campus dining improvements, by age, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer data: by ethnicity
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Living situation, by ethnicity, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer data: by Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Campus meal plan usage, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer data: by educational status/goals
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Campus meal plan usage, by educational status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Meals and snacks by where purchased (on-campus) (means), by educational status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Meals and snacks by where purchased (on-campus) (means), by educational goal, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Meals and snacks by where purchased (off-campus) (means), by educational status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Meals and snacks by where purchased (off-campus) (means), by educational goal, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: On-campus dining improvements, by educational goal, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer data: by living situation
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Campus meal plan usage, by living location, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: On-campus dining improvements, by living location, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Primary reasons for dining on-campus, by living location, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Primary reasons for dining off-campus, by living location, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer data: by meal plan status
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: On-campus dining improvements, by meal plan status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Primary reasons for dining on-campus, by meal plan status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Primary reasons for dining off-campus, by meal plan status, February 2014
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                Colleges and Universities Foodservice - US - May 2014

                                                                                                                                                                £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)