British Food Fortnight is set to coincide with 2021 Freshers’ Fairs which take place at the end of September across most of the universities in the UK. Freshers and the start of university marks the beginning of independence for these students, many of whom will be catering for themselves for the first time. This brings food choices to the forefront of the debate, and what better time to show them the benefits and tastiness homegrown British food can bring.
It is a well-known fact that millennials are far more food conscious than previous generations, highlighted by the fact that the organic food and drink market in the UK generates over two billion pounds (Statista). Given that this generation has a greater appetite for understanding where their food comes from, at British Food Fortnight we are inviting university caterers to run British Food Fortnight promotions in student cafes and canteens and set up stalls at Freshers’ Fairs to promote the healthy benefits of British seasonal food. This can also be done through cooking demonstrations of simple recipes to equip students with a healthy repertoire of go-to dishes that will keep their immune systems fighting off freshers flu, whilst supporting our British farms and agriculture.
Taking part in British Food Fortnight not only benefits the students, but universities too, especially for university caterers as it generates great PR. Our experience has found that it is proven to increase the number of people eating in their restaurants and it establishes a point of difference between university outlets and restaurants serving bland, mainstream products.
There are a host of activities and things university caterers can do to take part in British Food Fortnight, for example:
- Promote a special British Food Fortnight menu in your university restaurants or canteens for the Fortnight.
- Offer cookery demonstrations for freshers using simple recipes and guidance for students about where they can buy fresh, healthy, affordable ingredients.
- Add a paragraph to the catering pages of the University website about your activities and menus during British Food Fortnight and provide advice on eating healthily and variedly.
- Set up a stall at Fresher Fair to advertise the healthy benefits of British seasonal food and promote your menus.
- Promote your participation in the national food promotion by using British Food Fortnight’s promotional material to decorate your outlets.
Some of the top Russell Group universities such as Exeter, Birmingham and Cardiff have run some fantastic British Food Fortnight foodie events at venues on campus. For example at Exeter they organised a ‘Taste of Britain’ campaign, where award-winning head chef, Nicky Stanbury served up a daily authentic dish from a different region of the British Isles over the course of the two week celebration.
Kate Concah, Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator at Exeter University said “Students really engage with British Food Fortnight, particularly international students, who enjoy this taste of Britain. It is interesting and a bit different for them. We’re already looking forward to taking part again next year! ”
With only a couple of months to go, now is the time to prepare. BFF are determined to make this year’s event the biggest and most successful yet and we sincerely hope that universities across the country will not let us down!
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