- Aramark is partnering with meal kit maker Home Chef to offer its meal kits as part of university dining plans, according to a company press release.
- The meal kits will make their debut on 25 campuses this month and will be delivered directly to participating students.
- Meal kits are just one way foodservice providers are looking to reach college students as institutions seek to increase the number and quality of food options on campus.
Arizona State University is among the institutions adding meal kits. There, students can purchase a meal plan that includes a $120 credit for Home Chef meals, which can be delivered to them, according to the university's website.
As meal kit companies try to differentiate themselves, Home Chef is betting on busy college students. With their class schedules and late-night study sessions, many have little time to grocery shop or meal prep, and kits can fill a need for those who want to cook for themselves.
Colleges are also a prime target for meal delivery services. In August, Aramark announced the acquisition of Good Uncle, which provides app-based, on-demand food delivery service on campus and partners with local chefs.
Other campuses have offered mobile ordering and payment for on-campus dining. And some are experimenting with autonomous delivery robots as a way to address demand for food delivery on campus.
The desire for higher-quality food choices is another driver. Generation Z is more health-conscious than previous generations but still looks for convenient options to fit busy schedules, one study found. It also noted that members of Gen Z are more likely to purchase meal kits than are millennials.
In collaborating with a university foodservice provider, Home Chef can reach the youngest set of adult consumers and turn them into long-term customers. The company also gains exposure with parents who are often choosing meal plans for their kids.