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Top 10 K-12 food trends for 2023 from Chartwells K12

Here’s what school nutrition departments will face over the coming year as they create their menu strategies, according to one of the largest operators of K-12 meal programs in the country.

Each year, Chartwells K12, the unit of Compass Group North America that operates meal programs in some 4,500 schools across the country, publishes its food trends report for the coming year. Compiled with the input of the company’s network of culinary experts and registered dietitians, these trends annually represent kids’ current and near future food preferences.

“Student tastes are at the forefront of every new program or menu item we introduce,” says Peter Gilhooly, Vice President-Culinary for Chartwells K12. “With daily access to the invaluable insights from the students we serve, we’re able to work with kids on creating the fun and delicious, healthy and nutritious meal options on their school menus, and we’re excited to share what’s coming next year.”

This is the third annual list Chartwells K12 has compiled based on decades of experience and expertise in understanding what kids like to eat, along with data from serving school districts in nearly 40 states.

“Through our own research and by incorporating feedback from students across the country, we’re able to create menus and experiences they love while continuing to meet their evolving preferences,” observes Lindsey Palmer, vice president nutrition & industry relations.

For 2023, here are Chartwells K12’s top 10 food trends for kids (for a video roundup, go here)…

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