The numbers are pointing to Korean grab-and-go options. According to Datassential, mentions of Korean ingredients on menus has increased by 71% in just six years. That, paired with the fact that grab-and-go items are vital to convenience-crazed college students, makes Korean grab-and-go a trend to follow for sure.
At Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., numbers are even more compelling: Enrollment data shows over one-third of students identify as Asian. And all students rate Asian cuisine high in their food preferences, according to Angela Agnello, director of marketing for Stony Brook.
“Offering authentic food from students’ home cultures is incredibly important for our diverse student population,” she says, “But also, Asian cuisines rank high on our students’ preferences for their fresh, creative and eclectic flavor profiles.”
An early adopter of trends toward Asian food and ingredients, Stony Brook’s dining has been ahead of the culinary diversity curve for years with the 8,300-square-foot international food pavilion, Jasmine at the Charles B. Wang Center, a destination for Asian foods, including Korean, Chinese, Indian and Japanese.
Earlier this year, a new part of the pavilion, the Best Concept award-winning Jasmine Market, opened within the center, a 550-square-foot store with hundreds of international grocery items, snacks and Asian beverages.
From the start, Korean-style grab-and-go items were flying off the shelves. So, the dining team has taken that lightning in a bottle (or in this case, boiled squid in a clear container), and brought Korean grab-and-go items to other two other retail venues—campus convenience stores—using existing refrigeration.
The top sellers to date have been the mini kimbap bulgogi (Korean seaweed/rice rolls with marinated beef and veggie fillings), the O-Dang (odaeng, a fishcake side dish similar to a crab cake) and Janjorim (a sweet-salty-spicy beef side dish). Kimchi is also available, as is O Jing A, Korean boiled squid with gochujang).
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