Aramark Higher Education has introduced a new campus convenience store concept, Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) Market, to its more than 600 North American college and university clients. The convenience retailing concept features all-day grab 'n go dining options such as freshly-prepared breakfast sandwiches, burritos, wraps, sushi and salads along with fresh produce, bakery, coffee selections and traditional essentials usually found in convenience stores.
"Our research told us that students were looking for fresh prepared foods and everyday essentials in one convenient location on campus," says Mark Walker, associate vice president of convenience retailing for the unit. "Our goal was to develop a highly-customized solution that delivers quality, convenience, variety and value."
Each store will be customized based on the specific needs of the campus where the store is located. For example, one campus may offer a wide range of organic and kosher products, while another will feature a more traditional selection. A distinct feature of P.O.D. Market is information about the place of origin and nutritional value of the foods offered. Product cues clearly identify food items as vegan, organic, kosher, locally-grown, gluten-free, low-carb or fair trade.
The concept was piloted in the fall of 2008 on three campuses: Brandeis University, the University of Tennessee and The University of Toledo. Additional locations are planned for rollout over the next three years.