College students want locally-sourced food that provides comfort with a twist, says a new college food trends list compiled by Sodexo, which operates on 600 campuses across the country. Items that top the list are regional and global comfort foods.
Sodexo's Customer Insights team tracks research on the latest flavor trends, holds frequent taste-test focus groups with students and consults with ithe company's chefs to develop its list.
Here is Sodexo's 2010 Top 10 food trends…
1. Apricot-glazed Turkey
2. Meatloaf with Frizzle-Fried Onions
3. Vietnamese Pho (Rice Noodle Soup)
4. Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd's Pie
5. Chicken Adobo (Mexican Stew with Chilies)
6. Stuffed Pork Chops
7. Vegetarian Jambalaya
8. Lemon Herbed Baked Tilapia
9. Rotisserie Chicken
10. Home Style Pot Roast
"Comfort food is trendy for students because familiar favorites can alleviate stress linked to studying and being away from home," says Tom Post, Sodexo’s president of campus services. "The biggest change we're seeing is that students are expanding the category of feel-good foods to include comfort world cuisine, such as a Mexican stew or a Vietnamese noodle soup and they are more open to vegetarian dishes with a flair."
Another trend shows that students who attend college out of state love to explore regional fare in their new home away from home. Sodexo's culinary team in each region identified the top favorites of college students.
"Being exposed to the cuisine of the region where you're studying is part of the college experience for students," says Chef Rob Morasco, senior director of offer development. "A student from New England who attends Tulane in New Orleans might adopt red beans and rice as comfort food, while a Southerner studying at MIT might make clam chowder a new favorite."
Here are the College Campus Favorites by Region:
South Central Region: Red Beans and Rice
Midwest: Home Style Roast Beef
Northwest: Classic Carved Turkey
Mid Atlantic: Chicken Pot Pie
Northeast: New England Clam Chowder
Southeast: Traditional Meatloaf
Southwest: Fish Tacos
The 2010 College Food Trends list was developed by Sodexo's Customer Insight team with research from Sodexo's Student Board of Directors, student Food Choice Awards events, Nielsen's Annual Restaurant Audit, Teenage Research Unlimited, Technomics Menu Monitor, NPD Group, Sodexo's culinary team of chefs and vendor partners.