10 Reasons Snack Brands Should Advertise to College Students

10 Reasons Snack Brands Should Advertise to College Students

10 Reasons Snack Brands Should Advertise to College Students

  1. College students significantly influence the snack industry

The serious snacking habits of college students contributed heavily to the $18.5 billion worth of snack sales in US restaurants, vending machines, and mobile vendors that was expected last year.[1]

  1. College students are willing to spend on snacks

Consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 spend the highest percentage of their income on snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.[2]

  1. College students consume a lot of snacks

At least 35% of the meals eaten by Millennials aren’t meals at all, but snacks.[3]

  1. A significant portion of college students snack daily

Four in 10 Millennials snack more than once daily, reports research firm Technomic.[4]

  1. College students are changing how and when food is consumed

Shawn LaPean, executive director of Cal Dining at the University of California-Berkeley, explains that “Eating weird is the new normal. If students eat any square meals per day, it might be one. The rest is filled with snacks and food on the go.”[5]

  1. College sampling influences purchasing decisions

45% [of students] report having received product samples during the school year, with two-thirds of those going to purchase the brand.[6]

  1. There is huge opportunity with the college crowd

There are nearly 16 million hungry U.S. college and university students wielding more than $300 billion in spending power; however, only 28% are satisfied with the healthy foodservice offerings at their schools, according to new market data from Technomic. The findings suggest significant opportunities for foodservice suppliers and operators to grow revenues by appealing to the campus crowd.[7]

  1. College students are establishing eating habits

“College students are establishing the eating habits of their future lives, and we found that they snack more often than all other demographics,” says Y-Pulse Executive Director Sharon Olson. “Snacking is their lifestyle choice.”[8]

  1. College sampling, advertising, and peer-to-peer marketing drive sales

While Students choose familiar tastes and brands most often (43 percent) to meet cravings, the other top influences on their purchases are free samples (35 percent) and coupons (10 percent). Peer recommendations came in fourth.[9]

10. College advertising is a chance for snack companies to drive consumer loyalty and behavior trends

The college environment, with its campus food courts, self-serve bars and convenience stores, along with plenty of nearby cheap global eats, offers students an exceptional opportunity to experience new foods, flavor profiles and eating styles,” said Kimberly Egan, CEO of CCD Innovation. “Just as minds expand in the classroom, palates expand in college and are forever altered. The food industry will need to respond to these adventurous consumers as they leave campus and start earning their own paychecks.”[10]

Now you know, 10 reasons snack brands should advertise to college students.

If you’re looking for more snack-related news surrounding the college market, you can download our white paper, “14 Ways to get Food and Beverage Brands Into the College Market” here or click on the button below:


[1]Ah, the Good Life.” Food Service Director.

[2]Snacking Strengthens Restaurant Spending.” MonkeyDish.

[3]Millennials Drive 24/7 Snacking.” Food Processing.

[4] Horovitz, Bruce. “Marketers Adapt Menus to Eat-What-I-Want-When-I-Want Trend.” USA Today.

[5] Horovitz, Bruce. “Marketers Adapt Menus to Eat-What-I-Want-When-I-Want Trend.” USA Today.

[6]Multi-Screening Popular Among College Students.” Marketing Charts.

[7]College Students Want Healthy Dining Options.” Food Product Design.

[8]An In-depth Look at College Student Snacking.” Food Management.

[9]New Research Sheds Light on What College Students Crave.” Convenience Store News.

[10] Kelso, Alicia. “Foodservice Habits of the College Millennial Become Clear.” QSR Web.

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