Three Campus Dining Trends to Feed Students’ Appetite for Experience

General Mills Foodservice to showcase hand pies, smoothie bowls and coffee shop inspiration at this year’s NACUFS conference.
  • Save
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Share

  • Save
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Share

MINNEAPOLIS (July 5, 2018)—General Mills Foodservice will shine the spotlight on three bold, experiential ideas for campus foodservice at the National Association of College & University Food Service’s (NACUFS) annual conference taking place July 11-14 in Providence, R.I. From the latest grab-and-go foods to customizable menu ideas to coffee shop-inspired solutions, C&U operators will have the opportunity to learn about these trends and much more at the General Mills’ booth (#330).

General Mills’ interactive booth will feature product sampling, cooking demonstrations and C&U-specific solutions to help operators serve up new and unique dining experiences for students. In addition to offering a range of products used in college and university foodservice, General Mills provides culinary expertise, marketing support and tools to bring the latest campus dining trends to life—all will be on full display at this year’s NACUFS conference.

“Food is such an important part of the campus experience,” said Allison Curran, senior marketing manager at General Mills Convenience & Foodservice. “We know Generation Z is more open to trying new things, so we want to arm C&U foodservice professionals with turnkey ideas and inspiration to help satisfy students’ craving for great-tasting food as well as memorable experiences.”

Three of the experiential menu ideas that General Mills will showcase at NACUFS include:

• The Ultimate On-the-Go Food: Hand Pies

Chef Ted Osorio, who works closely with campuses nationwide, will share recipes and tips to create hand pies made with Pillsbury Frozen Pie Dough Sheets.  He’ll demonstrate how to make this menu item that has widespread popularity at cafes and fast-casual restaurants and discuss why it’s a great option for campus foodservice.

"Hand pies are easy to make with a variety of savory or sweet fillings and provide a portable option for busy students looking for items they can eat on-the-go," said Chef Ted.

Customizable and Instagram-Worthy Smoothie Bowls

Chef Ted will serve up samples that attendees can customize with their own toppings. They can also pick up recipes and a guide to help them turn an unused salad bar into a make-your-own smoothie bowl action station at their own operation.

"As today’s students seek out more fresh menu items, smoothie bowls are a perfect option that students can customize with their own choice of toppings,” said Curran. “In addition, smoothie bowl stations encourage creativity, providing campus cafeterias with an opportunity to create buzz on Instagram and other social media."

• Coffee Shop-Inspired Solutions

Coffee shops are essential to capturing morning and snack occasions on campus, but the key to success is offering convenient and satisfying options. From a wide variety of baked goods to the new YoGo Coolers made with Yoplait® Parfait Pro, General Mills is helping bring coffee shop-inspired solutions to campus that fit the needs of any foodservice operation.

"General Mills offers a number of baked goods items, some require no baking, others are ready-made products that can be thawed and sold, plus some that can be baked fresh onsite," said Curran. “We can work with operators to help them find the right solution based on their available labor and equipment in order to serve up the baked items their students will love.”

Chef Ted will serve samples of YoGo Coolers and Apple Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls for NACUFS attendees. In addition, operators can learn about how to get downloadable digital assets they can customize as well as beautiful merchandisers to bring coffee shop inspiration to their own operations.

In addition to showcasing three trends, General Mills will also give NACUFS attendees the opportunity to vote on their favorite cereal shape.  New shapes, which will be on display in the Champions Cereal Corner of the booth, include Reese’s Halloween Bats, Lucky Charms New Year’s Unicorn, Reese’s Valentine’s Day Hearts and Lucky Charms All Green Marshmallows.  For every vote received, General Mills will donate $5 to a charity that will be selected by the operators themselves.

For more information on the products and solutions featured at NACUFS, campus foodservice directors can contact their General Mills Foodservice sales representative or visit

About General Mills Convenience & Foodservice

The General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division serves the convenience, foodservice and bakery industries by providing quality products from time-trusted brands along with culinary, nutrition education and marketing resources to help operators succeed. Its distinguished brand portfolio includes Big G Cereals, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Chex Mix, Bugles, Gardetto’s and Annie’s. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, the division had fiscal 2018 net sales of $1.93 billion. For more information, please visit

# # #

Sarah Peterson
General Mills Convenience & Foodservice