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Incorporating food trends into campus offers

Affordable, healthy & delicious fast-food epitomises student requirements - emotionally & physiologically, says Prof David Russell

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | December 24, 2016 | Catering & hospitality

The dichotomy of optimum wellbeing and gourmet indulgence is at the forefront of this year’s national and global food trends. The Food People have calibrated 10 national food trends, with key paradigms focusing around intelligent health, sensorial experiences, bare necessities and craft expertise. 

Affordable, healthy and delicious fast-food is a key food trend for 2017, and epitomises student requirements both emotionally and physiologically. Our students’ brains and bodies require nutrient-dense, low glycemic food offers to fuel optimum academic performance and sustained energy release, whereas student minds are aware that the practice of food consumption must be quick, cost-effective and delicious in order to effectively time-manage (and still enjoy a meal). Consideration of established comparator offers such as LEON, Itsu and Pod will encourage students to interact with campus outlets and positively influence their overall student experience. 

We know the importance of healthy diets and lifestyles for students, especially related to mental agility and performance – more information in regards to this synergy can be found on the Food for The Brain website: www.foodforthebrain.org

We must recognise that food and beverage is an integral component of establishing a positive student experience 

Alternatively, we must be cognisant of the multi-sensory aspects of food and beverage that are often forgotten when providing sustenance. Whilst it may seem intuitive to consider that procurement, preparation, cooking and presentation of ingredients are the key elements of delivering a delicious meal, research does suggest that this process only accounts for 50% of the joy associated with food and beverage consumption. As such, we must consider factors such as ambience, décor and environment that influence and cooperate with our ophthalmoception (sight), olfacoception (smell), temperature perception, audioception (hearing) and tactioception (touch). 

Finally, whilst optimum health is the very essence of supporting student wellbeing, nurturing talent and optimising the student experience, we must ensure inclusivity, vibrancy and choice through implementation of innovations in food and beverage, that are centred around artisan delights and craft expertise. Integration of local, seasonal and organic provisions will provide students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a different aspect of their campus health journey that will ultimately encourage them to remain motivated on the journey to health and wellness for the majority of their time at university.  

We must recognise that food and beverage is an integral component of establishing a positive student experience – the manifestations of which are vast and varied; so let’s start this year off with a ‘pop’ of flavour or ‘boost’ of nutrients by integrating national food trends into our food offers every day.

W: www.therussellpartnership.co.uk 

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