Stuart Finn, Business Development Manger with Big Al’s has a university catering background and shares his insight into emerging trends in the sector.
“Long gone are the days of a tin of beans on toast or packet noodle dinners for students. The younger generations are almost hyper aware of food content – what’s good and what isn’t.
“I think above all else, we’re seeing a mega trend among millennials, and young adults generally, towards a longing for uniqueness. They’re increasingly eager to be set apart from the mainstream, to imprint their personality on experiences and occasions whenever they can; it’s true of their dining habits, too, and is one of the big drivers behind food personalisation. Offer students additional extras for their meals or a mix’n’match options on sharing platters to give them a chance to make their on mark on your offer.”
Young people are also seeking out more taste profiles, exploring flavour and “done better” offerings. Big Al’s offer a range of products with truly great flavor: authentic stone baked Italian Pizza Twists, Gourmet Hotdog wood smoked and hand stuffed by a German master butcher, Flame Grilled Burgers, BBQ Pulled Pork and much more.
“It was once true that university caterers were battling against 37p pasta and bulk order tuna tins when trying to prise students from their halls in search of an eat-out option. That’s simply no longer the case, not only is there more willingness among students to eat out, they’re also far more liberal with their spending than students have been previously.
“With students now more excited than ever before about eating out and especially taken by consistently recognisable brands or franchises, getting your marketing and communications right is imperative in universities. Big Al’s branded concepts are a great resource for maximising your communicative effort with students and making sure your food offer is the one they choose.”
“I won’t be making any headlines by asserting that getting your food offer right is paramount. However, the job isn’t done as soon as this has been achieved. If you don’t get the serve right, your fantastic food offer will never reach its sales potential and never reach the heights of popularity it deserves, and this is especially true among students.
“Bread serves can be make or break – students are inclined towards specialist bread serves in particular, with burgers and hotdogs on brioche or infused breads a natural choice.
“TV programmes, social media and an explosion of branding have contributed to inflated expectations and education in what they can demand from outlets. Match students’ demands by giving your offer that extra kick; they’re willing to pay for it!”
Big Al’s Foodservice will be attending the TUCO competitions this April. Follow us on Twitter for live action from the event.
Image Source: Tuco Events