Texas State University Dining, operated by Chartwells Higher Education, will add a fruteria as a new dining option following a wildly successful pop-up that opened the week students returned from Spring Break. The fruteria in the Jones Dining Center temporarily replaced Woods Street Pizza and increased revenue 100% for the four days it was open, according to Resident District Manager Chin Hong Chua.
“More than 2,000 students took advantage of the opportunity to eat at the fruteria,” Chua says. “It gave us a lot of good data that will certainly help us as we plan for what we will offer the community in the fall.”
Traditional fruterias are places to get whole and cut fresh fruit, fruit drinks, and snacks like elote. In modern fruterias, the fruit drinks have huge chunks of fruit and cucumber slices and are often topped with chamoy and other seasonings or candy. They also serve snacks like tostilocos, which is a variation on nachos that includes pork rinds (I.e., chicharrónes) and other fruits and flavors.
“The fruteria is a place where you can create different snack ideas and not feel crazy at all,” explains Senior Executive Chef Alberto Trujillo. “Gen Z can create snacks that showcase their own identities and preferences and share those moments of joy on Instagram or TikTok.”
Trujillo said he wanted to offer some traditional snacks like fruit cups, raspadas (snow cones), and aguas frescas but he made sure to include trending snacks like Taki nachos, mangonadas and tostilocos for students to try something new.
“The students had been requesting a greater variety of snacks,” he says. “They weren’t necessarily looking for more lunch options, but instead snackable foods. So, we thought we would try a fruteria. My kids get excited every time I take them and there is always a crowd. It also doesn’t need a lot of cooking equipment to be run successfully and is a great addition to our other staple concepts.”
According to Trujillo, the top four sellers are fruit cups, elote, aguas frescas, and mangonada. He expects the raspadas will also become very popular as the weather warms.
“I really didn’t know what to expect because the weather was cool the day we opened the initial pop up, but the crowd during the first half hour was amazing,” he said. “I thought we were going to surprise them with the concept, but they surprised us with their excitement. I cannot wait to officially open for the fall semester.”