Savvy Students

Much research has explored the dining preferences of Baby Boomers and the follow-up generations, and all along the way, there has been a discernible trend toward eating in restaurants and even a move toward finer dining. For younger consumers, this has had a notable impact upon their expectations and demands—even regarding their school dining options.

The NPD Group notes that foodservice establishments on college campuses “have their work cut out for them” when meeting the desires of young consumers with sophisticated and discerning tastes. These restaurant-savvy students have high expectations and, while they are satisfied with their overall campus cafeteria experiences, it is not overwhelmingly so. In fact, NPD Group notes, “There is a huge opportunity for on-campus dining services to improve their customer satisfaction.”

“Restaurants are really shaping teens’ expectations on what should be available to them when they are at school,” explains Kyle Olund, NPD Group product manager. “Campus foodservice providers have to cater to their expectations.”

At quick-service restaurants, teens’ overall satisfaction grew one percentage point from 2002. They are even less satisfied with school and college cafeterias. On-campus options finish well below commercial restaurants in overall satisfaction. Full-service restaurants scored highest. As Olund predicts, “Those are not numbers to ignore. It is going to be even more challenging for campus dining services to obtain levels of satisfaction with their consumer base.”

For more information, contact Caryn Portnoy with The NPD Group, or 516-625-2443.

The In Box:

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  • Glanbia plc acquired Pizzey’s Milling, which produces and markets nutritional ingredients predominantly derived from flaxseed. 

  • THAIFEX—World of Food Asia 2008 will be held May 21-25, 2008, at IMPACT in Bangkok, Thailand. More information may be found at

  • U.S. Soy appointed Larry Nichols as vice president of sales and marketing.

  • By a vote of 42 to 31, the California Assembly made California the first state in the nation to pass statewide legislation requiring fast-food outlets and chain restaurants to provide nutrition information at the point of purchase. If and when signed by the governor, the bill will make California the first state to require chain restaurants and fast-food outlets to provide nutritional information for standard menu items.

  • ADM announced appointments in the company’s Commercial and Production group, including: John Guymon as vice president, Refined Oils Operations; Mark Kolkhorst as president of ADM Milling; Kris Lutt as general manager, Specialty Feed Ingredients; Kevin Swanson as general manager, Packaged Oils; and Joe Taets as managing director, European Oilseeds.

  • ORAFTI Active Food Ingredients named Tim Van der Schraelen as marketing & communication manager.

  • Food additives can trigger hyperactivity in children, Britain’s Food Standards Agency warned after scientists at Southampton University found certain artificial colors and sodium bezoate preservative had harmful effects on behavior. They were sunset yellow (E110), tartrazine (E102), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124), quinoline yellow (E104), allura red (E129) and sodium benzoate (E211). The results are published in the Lancet medical journal.

  • Alan Bernon left his post as president of Dean Foods Co.'s dairy group, and Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive, will take over his responsibilities.

  • The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) added Jorge Martinez as vice president of communications, Amanda K. Shapiro as manager of conventions and meetings and Jason S. Bassett as manager of legislative affairs. 

  • Coca-Cola pulled Deryck van Rensburg from its German division to run a new "emerging brands" unit, which focuses in part on developing new lines of drinks at a time when consumers' tastes are changing rapidly, while Hendrik Steckhan was brought over from Brazil to run a new "sparkling beverages" unit that focuses on regular carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks. "Still beverages," another new unit, will be headed by new hire Brian Kelley and will concentrate on noncarbonated drinks ranging from water to tea. In related news, Coca-Cola Co. bought a 20% stake in beverage developer Brain-Twist Inc. and said it would stop producing coffee-flavored Coca-Cola Blak soda in the U.S., 16 months after its introduction. 

  • Covance Inc. opened its first nutritional chemistry laboratory for Asia, based in Singapore. The $2 million facility will offer independent and internationally recognized safety testing of food and product samples from Asian companies seeking to export to the U.S.

  • Arista Industries opened a new South East Sales Office in Hilton Head, SC. 

  • The Promotion Marketing Association Inc. announced its executive committee and board of directors will be led by Mark Mears, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Universal Studios Hollywood, who will serve as PMA chairman of the board.

  • Midwest Chlor-Alkali LLC plans to build a manufacturing plant adjacent to Cargill’s corn milling facility in Eddyville, Iowa.