As a former college kid, I know a thing or two about questionable dining hall choices. Applegate®, in a bid to dispel mystery meats from college campuses, is appearing at over 25 colleges and universities across the United States. On top of its already familiar offerings, the company recently launched its The Great Organic Blend Burger™, a 100 percent grass-fed beef and mushroom combo, that supports its mission to cater to sustainability-conscious consumers. This addition to the Applegate line-up has been accepted by a growing list of campuses for the 2019-2020 school year, including the University of California-Santa Barbara and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“They are trying to meet a lot of different tastes and desires for students—from wanting foods with cleaner ingredient statements to concerns about sustainability and animal welfare. Applegate has really been able to check a lot of boxes for these massive foods systems that are trying to cater to very diverse student populations,” stated Applegate President John Ghingo. “A lot of Gen Zers on college campuses recognize Applegate from growing up with it—our biggest growth came in the last 15 years with the point of entry being parents looking for better alternatives for their kids. Applegate also fits within the values of this generation—they demand full transparency and ask a lot of questions.”
Peter Testory, Director of Dining at University of Wisconsin-Madison added, “As part of our dining program, we regularly meet with a group of students called our Dining Advisory Board. One of the things they always share is that their peers are interested in delicious food that is also sustainable. They want us to carry food that is not only good for them, but to work with brands who are responsible stewards of the planet. Partnering with Applegate to offer a meat and mushroom blended burger allows us to do both. Plus, it tastes great! Many of our students and guests don’t even know they are eating a blended burger.”
“The Great Organic Blend Burger was an effortless choice when looking for a product that would represent our commitment to sustainability,” commented Dusty Cooper, Former Senior Executive Chef of University California-Santa Barbara. “Since a portion of the burger is made up of sustainably grown mushrooms, it was a choice in water conservation, which is crucial to our Santa Barbara community, as well as a choice for those seeking a better-for-you burger. Students have been lining up!”
Will other meat companies follow in Applegate’s footsteps and court the college crowd? Deli Market News will report the latest.