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The Latest Trends in School Cafeterias

As our world evolves, so do the culture and preferences of our students. The school cafeteria is often an underutilized resource for boosting student participation.

Nutritious meals offer clear benefits, from improving test scores to combating childhood hunger. However, students also need meals that are delicious and appealing. Traditional options like chicken tenders and burgers may no longer satisfy their tastes, so what does?

What Students Crave

Exploring New Cuisines

As student populations become increasingly diverse, there is a growing openness to experiencing a variety of cultures and their unique cuisines.

Offering meals from different parts of the world provides students with an opportunity to discover new tastes while also gaining insights into various cultural traditions.

International Food - Variety of Asian Cuisines

New Spices, Seasonings & Sauces

Students today are more receptive to experimenting with new spices and seasonings, seeking out those bigger and bolder flavors. This approach is an excellent way to enhance taste without increasing salt content.

According to Simplot, the flavors gaining the most popularity among students include:

  • Ginger

  • Bacon Ranch

  • White Gravy

  • Honey BBQ

  • Honey Mustard

Incorporating fresh herbs, spices, and unique flavors can transform everyday items like chicken strips and pizzas. Another effective method to boost flavor is by introducing new sauces, such as specialty salsas or dressings, which can significantly enhance any meal.

Spices & Sauces

Grab & Go Options

With busy schedules filled with classes and extracurricular activities, students are constantly on the go. Introducing more grab-and-go options offers a convenient way for them to access nutritious food. Ready-to-eat items such as sandwiches, wraps, salads, and snacks enable students to make healthy choices easily while enjoying quick service and a wide variety of options.

Sandwich on the go

Healthy Choices

Incorporating vegetarian or vegan meals can be beneficial for health-conscious students. Additionally, increasing the variety of fruits and vegetables in school meals can make them more colorful, attractive, and appealing.

Vegetarian Meal

How does one adapt to all these changes? By choosing a food service company who can keep up with the trends, take into account your student’s wants as well as your school’s needs. With Variety FoodServices, we’ve got you covered.


To learn more about our services and how Variety FoodServices can support your food service program, click the button below.


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