College Students Shape Future Food Trends

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Remember when what you ate for dinner was whatever your mom put in front of you? That’s how I grew up, and it wasn’t until I ventured off to college that I discovered the wide world of food. Not that my mother isn’t a great cook (she is!), but I was happy with my barbecued chicken, pasta and the occasional steak, never reaching out to try something new. It seems I wasn’t the only one.

In a new study called Collegiate Gen Y Eating: Trend Mapping Report, released by market research publisher Packaged Facts and food and beverage innovation agency CCD Innovation, college students develop new eating habits at school that will stick with them for life, influencing future food trends.

The independent college environment gives students ample opportunity to broaden their taste horizons with many featuring everything from endless salad bars to vegetarian options to uncommon ethnic cuisines. The study revealed four major needs and seven culinary behaviors of today’s┬ácollegiate.

The students’ “needs” were identified as:

  • Powerful nutrition
  • Flavorful food
  • Comfort and indulgence
  • Speed and convenience

Some of the culinary profiles that were determined from the study included dining along the meatless spectrum, chickpea popularity, nut butter interest (think peanut and almond butter), new fruit and vegetable discovery and more. Take a look at all seven profiles and the full article here.

Do you agree with these emerging food trends, fueled by young people? What were some of your best food discoveries? What are the food trends of the future? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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