Thu 24 Aug 2023
MEET THE BUYER: KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
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From plant-based to Instagrammable products, we chatted with King’s College London about their student's preferences.
What customer shifts have you noticed in the last 2 years?
Demand for plant-forward food, and the feeling that their behaviours are sustainable. Customers are more conscious of their carbon footprint and take the time to read and research how their behaviours influence the wider world.
Which key trends are impacting your business in 2023?
WFH! Also, less disposable income means people are going with what they know e.g. familiar brands rather than trying something new.
Which hero product have you launched recently? Tell us more!
3D printed faux meat. It’s a great eating experience and has a point of difference that generates interest from staff and customers Also, Little Moons (mochi-style ice cream) sells all year round and taken sales away from chocolate bars!
What are you currently looking for in terms of new products and innovation?
Global flavours, unique tastes, decadent feel but healthy, less processed, filling.
What advice would you give Suppliers meeting you during their 1-to-1 25-min meeting?
Consumers are looking for honest and transparent food options, products that are ‘Instagrammable‘ and products that they feel connected to.
In which product categories have you witnessed a substantial spike in demand?
Plant-based foods, foods claiming to be carbon neutral/reduced emission and ‘good for you’.
How important is sustainability for your business?
Sustainability is everything! Running a sustainable operation is one of our core values, and effects all our decision making, right from NPD to sourcing new products and equipment. 90% of my customers are Gen Z’s and this is high on their priority list, thus mine!
How important is health and wellness within your client base?
Like sustainability, health and wellness is a core value with a focus on mood, gut and brain health. We are a world class university and with world class academics and we work with them to develop our menus - all menus written by the chef are analysed by our nutrition team (headed by Tim Spector) and then run through a software to analyse the carbon footprint before being rolled out into our food outlets.
What’s your personal mantra?
Change is constant - to keep balanced you must keep moving!
What’s your favourite book of all time?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
Where do you find inspiration?
Working in Higher Education is exciting, stimulating, and inspirational. Networking events such as ECS are essential for staying ahead of the curve.
Your favourite place for coffee?
Monmouth Coffee in Borough Market.