Recapping the 2023 NACUFS Conference: Conversations with Foodservice Operators

The recent NACUFS conference brought together a dynamic confluence of minds in the food packaging industry and campus dining sector.  During the show, foodservice operators shared with us some of the most pressing concerns and evolving trends dominating the world of campus dining.

Sustainability Takes Center Stage

One resounding theme echoed through the halls of the conference: sustainability. With an unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility, decision-makers want to steer their choices toward eco-friendly solutions. Sustainability is becoming a “must” for campuses nationwide as the industry looks for new and innovative ways to reduce environmental impacts.

The Composting Conundrum

While the intention to be more sustainable is there, many campuses acknowledge that more work must be done to bridge the gap between intent and execution. For instance, they noted that they are trying to make the best sustainable decisions, but they don’t always know how to compost materials properly or lack the proper composting infrastructure, leading to improper end-of-life execution of sustainable packaging. This highlights the importance of providing comprehensive guidance and resources to enable campuses to align their composting initiatives with their packaging choices.

A Clear Appetite for Catering

Numerous schools were seeking reliable and sustainable catering solutions. The Clear UltraStack® platter emerged as a star player due to its functionality, merchandising capabilities and recyclability. This enthusiastic interest in resin catering solutions underscores a growing desire within the industry to strike a harmonious balance between convenience, durability, and sustainability. As campuses strive to meet the needs of eco-conscious students, innovative and functional packaging solutions like the Clear UltraStack® can be an innovative option.

Thinking Beyond the Dining Hall

While campus dining halls remain integral to student experiences, a shift toward to-go dining concepts is underway. From steaming bowls of ramen to delectable burrito bowls, foodservice operators are on the hunt for campus dining packaging solutions that cater to busy, on-the-go students.  

Whether it’s the increased need for sustainability or the quest for tailored packaging solutions, food packaging industry is poised to shape a more sustainable and efficient future for campus dining experiences.

Tip: Read more about how Sabert helps reduce food and packaging waste and climate impacts through smart food packaging solutions.