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ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Incoming college freshman are exposed to many new kinds of foods and eating habits, many of which will stick with them long after graduation, according to "Collegiate Gen Y Eating: Culinary Trend Mapping Report," a new report by Packaged Facts and San Francisco-based strategic food and beverage innovation agency CCD Innovation.
"The college environment, with its campus food courts, self-serve bars, and convenience stores along with plenty of nearby cheap global eats, offers students an exceptional opportunity to experience new foods, flavor profiles and eating styles," says Kimberly Egan, CEO of CCD Innovation. "Just as minds expand in the classroom, palates expand in college and are forever altered. The food industry will need to respond to these adventurous consumers as they leave campus and start earning their own paychecks."
CCD Innovation conducted several online quantitative research studies in late 2011 and spring 2012 at several college campuses nationwide in order to learn more about the dynamics of food attitudes and behaviors of the nearly 20 million 18- to 22-year olds who currently attend college, according to the announcement.
The report outlines four major needs and seven culinary behaviors or preferences Millennials are developing that are distinct from previous generations. College Millennials' needs for powerful nutrition, flavorful food, comfort and indulgence, and speed and convenience drive their food selections, which will drive future culinary trends. The report explores these culinary trends through in-depth profiles that include student survey quotes:
- Profile 1: Dining Along the Meatless Spectrum -- More students align themselves along the less-meat to meatless spectrum.
- Profile 2: The Mighty Chickpea -- Students consume the inexpensive, versatile and protein-filled chickpea in many ways.
- Profile 3: Nut Butters: A Protein Pal -- Today's college students have embraced peanut butter and other nut butters, such as almond.
- Profile 4: Fruit & Vegetable Discovery -- Campus salad bars, unfamiliar veggie side dishes and unusual vegan and vegetarian fare, along with friends, restaurants and popular student retail haunts introduce Millennials to new dried fruit snacks, to-go salads and produce-centric beverages.
- Profile 5: Asian Love Affair -- Many Millennials have grown up eating global cuisine, and their discoveries continue in college. Flavor, vegetarian possibilities and customization are strong drivers.
- Profile 6: Italian & Mexican: Familiar Comfort -- These foods provide comfort, something warm and fulfilling during high-stress periods in college.
- Profile 7: On-the-Go Fare -- College Millennials care strongly about food that is easy to make, portable and can be consumed on-the-go.
For more information on "Collegiate Gen Y Eating: Culinary Trend Mapping Report," click here.