No matter what’s on campus menus, it’s got to be fresh. Recent research reveals that 50 percent of today’s students say their top menu attribute is the use of fresh ingredients. Following in the footsteps of their restaurant counterparts, colleges and universities are finding a variety of ways to meet students’ fresh demands. Many are serving up more made-from-scratch dishes using the freshest ingredients available, even opening up farmstands featuring locally grown produce for students who like to cook their own meals. Meanwhile, a select few are taking freshness to the extreme, planting and harvesting vegetables from campus gardens or raising and slaughtering their own pigs to make products such as house-cured meats. To tout their freshness, some institutions are even incorporating the word “fresh” in the name of meal plans or on-campus eateries. Whatever the approach, colleges and universities are finding their own way to deliver on students’ desire for all things fresh. And, because they believe this is not a trend, but a way of life for today’s students, they don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Start finding your way to get fresh now—and pretty soon students will thank you with their dining dollars.

Source: Technomic’s 2013 College and University Consumer Trend Report