2010 College Food Trends: Students Crave Global, National and Regional Comfort Food with a Twist

December 14, 2009

Sodexo’s College Food Trends List Reveals Locally-Grown, Everyday Favorites from Home and Abroad, and Vegetarian Fare on the Rise

2010 College Food Trends: Students Crave Global, National and Regional Comfort Food with a Twist

GAITHERSBURG, Md., December 14, 2009 — Sodexo, leader in Quality of Life Solutions, and foodservice provider to 600 campuses in the United States, carefully monitors students’ taste buds because good food boosts a student’s college experience. This year’s college food trends list reveals students want locally-sourced food that provides comfort with a twist. Items that top the list are regional and global comfort foods.

Sodexo’s culinary team and customer insight experts released a food trends list for 2010:

College Food Trends in 2010

1.  Apricot-glazed Turkey
2.  Meatloaf with Frizzle-Fried Onions
3.  Vietnamese Pho (Rice Noodle Soup)
4.  Vegetarian Lentil Shpherd's Pie
5.  Chicken Adobo (Mexican Stew with Chilies)
6.  Stuffed Pork Chops
7.  Vegetarian Jambalaya
8.  Lemon Herbed Baked Tilapia
9.  Rotisserie Chicken
10.  Home Style Pot Roast

Sodexo tracks research on the latest flavor trends, holds frequent taste-test focus groups with students, and consults with its team of topnotch chefs to develop this list.

"Comfort food is trendy for students because familiar favorites can alleviate stress linked to studying and being away from home,” said Tom Post, Sodexo president of campus services. “The biggest change we’re seeing is that students are expanding the category of feel-good foods to include comfort world cuisine, such as a Mexican stew or a Vietnamese noodle soup and they are more open to vegetarian dishes with a flair.”

Another interesting trend shows that students who attend college out of state love to explore regional fare in their new home away from home. Sodexo’s culinary team in each region identified the top favorites of college students.

“Being exposed to the cuisine of the region where you’re studying is part of the college experience for students,” said Chef Rob Morasco, senior director of offer development for Sodexo. “A student from New England who attends Tulane in New Orleans might adopt red beans and rice as comfort food, while a Southerner studying at MIT might make clam chowder a new favorite.”

College Campus Favorites by Region:

  • South Central Region: Red Beans and Rice
  • Midwest: Home Style Roast Beef
  • Northwest: Classic Carved Turkey
  • Mid Atlantic: Chicken Pot Pie
  • Northeast: New England Clam Chowder
  • Southeast: Traditional Meatloaf
  • Southwest: Fish Tacos

The 2010 College Food Trends list was developed by Sodexo's Customer Insight team with research from Sodexo’s Student Board of Directors, student Food Choice Awards events, Nielsen’s Annual Restaurant Audit, Teenage Research Unlimited, Technomics Menu Monitor, NPD Group, Sodexo’s culinary team of chefs and vendor partners.

Sodexo, Inc.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), a member of Sodexo Group, is a leading provider of Comprehensive Service Solutions serving more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care, retirement, schools, higher education, government and remote sites. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., Sodexo, Inc. operates in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. The Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org) is an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $12.7 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.

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