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6 dining trends for Gen Z on college campuses

From smoothies to all-day dining, UConn’s Dennis Pierce shares tactics to reach students with college dining services programs.

This gallery is part of the coverage of the 2019 MUFSO conference, which took place Oct. 14-16 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. Find additional coverage of the event on and on Twitter via the #MUFSO hashtag.

Move over millennials; Gen Z is here. That’s especially true on college campuses, and something Dennis Pierce (pictured above), executive director of dining at the University of Connecticut (UConn), is keeping top of mind when creating new programs for his students.

When it comes to Gen Z students on campus, Pierce says “they want to know your data; how much are you purchasing local; how much are you giving to that soup kitchen. When you talk to them, you have to talk from the heart. You have to be extremely honest and transparent.”

Pierce says his current campus makeup also includes a larger portion of international students, so a food trend he says he’s keeping an eye on is increasing authentic ethnic menu items.

Here are the six trends Gen Z food trends that Pierce shares with the audience at MUFSO this week. MUFSO is a conference for multiunit foodservice operators hosted by FM's sister brand, Nation's Restaurant News.

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