Proof is in performance. Always. Turn to students who demand something new to prove your product’s viability.
Students tucked away on campus may not be the first audience that comes to mind during a product launch or early marketing activation. Yet C&U is often the most valuable testing ground to get your product into the kitchen or commissary, get cases moving, and get real data on how to position your product for now and the long term. Here’s why.
Dining services factor into overall C&U recruitment to a high degree. So when students are vocal about their food preferences (and they are), directors listen and act accordingly. This also means that foodservice directors need help – with products that allow them to offer trend-forward and healthy choices using a limited labor pool.
Rising opportunities include:
“Having plant-based foods isn’t a buzz or a trend, it’s a need and a demand that we deliver with creativity and flavor. Creating equitable offers is part of our strategy with Sodexo’s Campus commitment of 50% plant-based entrees by 2025. Inclusive options are key – having the 1:1 animal to plant entrée makes it approachable, relatable, and tempting to try.”
Jennifer DiFranceso, Director of Culinary Innovation for Sodexo Campus
Source: PBFA State of the Market Report
The sheer number of different cuisines, operation types, and dining occasions on a single campus means multiple ways in for your brand. Consider:
If a key point of differentiation for your brand is what happens behind the scenes, C&U is a fruitful place to grow awareness. Students are highly interested and engaged when it comes to topics like sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Purpose-driven institutional goals open the door for brands that follow suit, such as:
Here’s the clincher: A single C&U account could be enough to force product distribution from a volume perspective. There are also myriad opportunities for mass consumer trial and in-market feedback. Get creative and make it fun. Think on-campus trial events and station takeovers. It’s a testing ground, after all.
We’ll be seein’ you in C&U!