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Student Eating Habits Focus Group [VIDEO]
Is it still all about the long lie-ins, hangovers and instant noodles?
Anna Hammond

The health and fitness industry has boomed in recent years with the emergence of several new off-the-shelf fitness regimes, diets and lifestyle brands.

The competition is fierce and the ability to keep up with the pace is essential. Many pre-existing brands in this industry have found themselves slugging toe-to-toe with a new breed of opponent, applying a whole new style of messaging. Fats are encouraged. Carbs, even more so. Drawn out cardio routines have been condensed to intense, twenty minute sessions.

While their tactics may differ, the industry has united in promoting body positivity and a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

We wanted to know how much this change in attitude had passed its way through the gates and into the lives of our university students. Are the days of sleeping in, skipping the gym and living off a diet of microwave meals and booze a thing of the past?

Watch the video below to find out:

Do all students live off takeaways and alcohol?

For many university students, their Freshers year feels more like one giant, extended holiday. Silly rules such as making sure you attend class and limiting your daily crisp intake to one packet a day can be casually tossed aside in favour of a much more relaxed attitude toward life.

Learning to cook and eating a balanced diet is less of a priority than enjoying their ability to go out “on a school night” and eat hangover food.

By second year however, the heavy nights out and lack of nutrition begins to take its toll. The focus group explained how it was at this point they began to take more of an interest in following a healthy lifestyle. Many took up a sport or started regularly going to the gym. They also began learning to cook from scratch rather than relying on takeaway pizza and microwave meals.

How often do students cook from scratch?

The focus group revealed that they cook from scratch for most meals when eating at home. However, they agreed that it was all about simplicity, low-cost ingredients and spending no longer than 10-15 minutes in the kitchen.

Have takeaways and junk food become a no-go?

While the students were adamant that they took an active interest in eating their five-a-day and exercising, they also admitted to the occasional microwave meal when life gets busy.

If they’ve had a full day in the library and couldn’t be bothered to cook, a night in with a Chinese was viewed as a well-deserved treat. They also admitted to not being immune to emotional eating.

While not every student will take an active interest in all of the above, brands should focus on making their products or services more accessible to this consumer group by offering affordable prices.

If you’re looking to introduce your product to the student market, speak to us about how using student brand ambassadors and gaining access to high footfall spots on university campuses could help you do this.

This video was created by Campus Media in partnership with The National Student.

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