Unlike market segments like retail grocery stores, where aggregation of checkout scanner data has always generated lots of category consumption information, details about consumer purchases in the noncommercial market have always been difficult to pinpoint. So insights like those we recently obtained from Well's Dairy, Inc. provide interesting insights into where, why and how often college students choose to consume ice cream and frozen novelty items.
Last fall, the company's Blue Bunny division undertook a survey of over 800 college students in different parts of the country, generating data like that in the charts below. According to Keith Kandt, director of foodservice marketing, “we didn't want to assume that these customers had exactly the same tastes and preferences as the general population. And they don't. One of the best examples was that vanilla is not the overwhelming favorite among students that it is with the rest of the population. Flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and cookies and cream were almost equally popular.”
Another point he makes: “When students are given the choice of where to make their frozen snack purchases, preference for nearby grocery stores or other off-campus outlets was almost non-existent. The data shows they would prefer many different on-campus outlet locations, suggesting there are more on-campus opportunity that can still be taken advantage of.”