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Food for Thought: A Breakdown of the College & University Foodservice Landscape

05:03:52 PM

The start of a new school year is just around the corner. While college students are buying textbooks and firing up their laptops, foodservice faculty members are finalizing meal plans and confirming orders with vendors. In celebration of the new school year, CHD Expert, a global leader in aggregating, analyzing, and managing foodservice data, is releasing new figures that evaluate the college and university foodservice landscape.

In the CHD Expert foodservice database there are more than 9,250 Colleges & Universities (C&U) in the United States. Within this landscape, 51% are 2-year institutions, 38% are 4-year institutions, 8% are technical and trade schools, and the remaining 3% are affiliated buildings. The states with the largest number of C&U institutions are California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

With regard to enrollment, smaller institutions seem to be prevalent, as 64% of the overall landscape is made up of institutions with enrollments of 1,000 students or less. Only 14% of C&U’s have enrollments of 5,000 and more.

Considering ownership, 66% of the C&U landscape is made up of private institutions while 30% are public. Religious institutions make up 4% of the landscape. When creating menu plans and sourcing food products for their schools, foodservice directors and faculty use specific criteria to choose vendors, just as the vendors themselves use their own metrics to guide them when selling. There are different variables at play when selling to a private versus public school, and suppliers need to approach opportunities accordingly.

The meal breakdown among Colleges and Universities is led by 2-year institutions, with 43% of 4-year C&U’s serving 2,000 and more meals per day. Similarly, 41% of 4-year institutions serve 2,000 and more meals per day. Many students desire the “big college” experience as they take the next step in their educational journey, and these undergraduates require a lot of food to fuel them.

Understanding the key points of the C&U foodservice landscape, for example where the bulk of meals are served, can help industry suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors to make better informed strategy decisions within this potentially profitable market.

Are you interested in learning more about college and university foodservice data?

CHD Expert is an industry leader in collecting, managing, and analyzing foodservice data. We have all kinds of foodservice data available, including education foodservice data, and our database features 40+ filters you can use to segment data.

If you’d like to speak with one of our representatives, please email [email protected] Or, feel free to give us a call.

Would you like to learn more about the overall education foodservice industry landscape in the United States? Click here to download our latest infographic that details foodservice in the nation’s schools, from K-12 through C&U.

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