The Latest Food Trends On Campus
Food Trends On Campus Go-Go-Go Gourmet
So it’s not exactly news that college students are busy. But what is surprising (considering the typically limited budgets of students!) is that grab-and-go items on campus are moving toward gourmet. One of the most in-demand foods at colleges and universities across the United States is sushi. Blame it on the movement away from red meat, or the ever-increasing health studies that advocate the benefits of Japanese cuisine, but students are gobbling down California rolls in record numbers. Also popular right now are grilled gourmet sandwiches. No, these aren’t your mother’s BLTs. We’re talking proscuitto, melted brie, pesto mayonnaise, portabella mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. In fact, they’ve become so popular that they’ve made their way onto the breakfast menu, tempting early risers with not only eggs and cheese, but often bacon, sausage, potato chunks and peppers.
Ditto with gourmet coffee, which is percolating in more on-campus cafès than ever before. Picky palates are done with diner-esque “regular or decaf ” choices, opting instead for espressos, caramel macchiatos and soy vanilla lattes. And while caffeine is a must-have when you’re up all night cramming for that mid-term, some food service directors are reporting that with later classes and late-night study groups, many students aren’t just sipping — but also chowing down — six to eight times a day. Because portability is a growing necessity among students, colleges and universities are continuing to expand their pre-made and takeout offerings, not just in dining halls, but also in on-campus grocery stores, delis and snack shops. Sales of ready-to-eat items like pre-made sandwiches, make-your-own salads, imported olives, specialty meats and cheeses, and individual ethnic entrèes (like lasagna, spanakopita and tamales) are skyrocketing. It’s a trend that mirrors the success of high-end grocery stores across the country, like Wild Oats, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Safeway Lifestyle stores.
Here are just a sampling of some of the best grab-and-go items at schools around the country:
- Stanford: Rosemary roasted turkey sandwich with papaya-cranberry chutney; homemade gelato; tiramisu; tapas
- University Of Vermont: Squash and apple vegan soup; roasted eggplant parmesan Ciabatta sandwich; Mykonos vegetable salad; spicy antipasto wrap
- Bloomfield College (NJ): Caribbean jerk chicken; vegetable quiche; grilled chicken Caesar wraps
- University Of Arizona: Vegan meatless grande burritos; empanadas; blueberry scones; sausage calzones
- University Of Chicago: Tex Mex Blackbean Salad Euro baguettes; Curry in a Hurry; yogurt parfaits ginger carrot soup; jalapeno-cheese corn muffins.
Next time you’re online scouting for colleges take a detour to hunt down the on-campus menus. It could make the difference between four years of dining like royalty — or being royally sick of pizza.