When it comes to eating, college students have a wide variety of options to choose from. They can buy groceries to cook their own meals, go out to eat, select pre-made food and snacks, or use meal programs available through the school. There are a lot of observations worth noting as students continue to reshape their eating habits. One of the biggest influences is the increase in food-related social media.
On social media hubs like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest there are many different groups that make video tutorials on how to create meals or snacks. These videos are short and very thorough in showing how to cook these dishes including the ingredients needed to make them. Students find these tutorials easy to follow and practical as it allows people without much knowledge to try their hand in cooking. The presence of these videos in social media has definitely increased the amount of cooking done by college students on a regular basis.
The younger element of millennials in college right now and they continue to mirror the trend of eating out on a regular basis. This stems from the perception of dining out as a social event to many of them and who are willing to pay more for the experience of eating out with friends. Incorporating phone apps like GrubHub with college-town bars and restaurants allows students to find weekly deals at establishments, encouraging people to venture out even more.
Another big trend with college students can be seen with the rising popularity in prepared foods. Students can be pressed for time with classes spread out during the day so many have been purchasing these products more regularly. Prepared foods for students makes sense because it is fast, and it allows for students without many cooking skills to still enjoy homemade-like meals. These foods are not just in c-stores and supermarkets, but also in regular food service stores like Starbucks where packaged snacks and sandwiches are offered.
Food service programs through schools have also seen some change recently. There are meal programs available to students (sometimes at a discounted rate), where students can eat at any of the dining halls using their meal program card. Many schools have been renovating their dining halls to more closely match the trending food themes like healthy, fresh, and variety. Some of the dining halls resemble the layouts and food options available in a Whole Foods food court or a Mariano’s. As more schools are changing the landscape of their food service programs for the better, more students might be influenced to continue to purchase meal plans as long as they match the growing trends of fresh, healthy, and fast.
Newly Weds Foods has the knowledge and capabilities to assist in the development of food products that address today’s trends as well that meet the requirements of distribution, through supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and even school food service programs.