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IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM

DEVELOP THE SOLUTION

THE FINAL PRODUCT

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DEFINE THE PROBLEM

REVEAL THE BRAND

OUTLOOK OF CONCEPT


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By 2030, it is projected that 42% of the American population will be obese. — AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRE VENTIVE MEDICINE

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Among 2–19 year old kids, 1 in 3 are overweight and 1 in 6 are obese. —AMERICAN HE ART A SSOCIATION

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In order to prevent younger generations from making the 2030 projection a reality, changes have to be made.

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IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM Overview C u r re n t P ro b l e m Mi s s i o n S t a t e m e n t

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YOUNG AMERICANS AGES 2–19

OVERWEIGHT

OBESE

THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC According to a new report from the American Journal of Preventive OBESITY

Medicine, about 32 million more Americans will become obese by

A medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/ or increased risk of health problems.

2030, upping obesity rates to 42 percent of the U.S. population. With the rise of obesity and obesity-related problems, the American lifestyle has come under extreme scrutiny as we try to figure out the solution(s) to this growing epidemic. Although we are eager to point fingers in every direction, we need to be pointing them at ourselves. From infants to toddlers to teenagers to adults, this problem is affecting everyone. Currently, among Americans age 20 and older, 149.3 million are overweight or obese. Of these, 75 million are obese. Among young Americans ages 2–19, 1 in 3 are overweight and 1 in 6 are obese. Studies show that overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of being overweight adults. This statistic increases to 80% if one or both parents are overweight or obese. From state to state the obesity prevalence varies from 20.7% in Colorado to 34.9% in Mississippi. There is no state with an obesity prevalence less than 20%. While the Northeast and the West have the lowest rates of obesity, the South and the Midwest have the highest prevalence at 29.5% and 29% respectively. For this reason alone, the focus of this thesis lies heavily on the South and Midwest regions, specifically Indiana (29.4% prevalence) where I went to college and was able to see firsthand the prevalence of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. This isn't an issue about just being fat, this is an issue about the overall quality of life that a person endures. Obesity-related health problems include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer.

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OUR YOUTH The obesity epidemic is an incredibly dense topic that I will flush LET'S MOVE

out more within the research chapter. For now, I would like to focus

Let's Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, Michelle Obama dedicated to ending the problem of childhood obesity in the United States.

on the obesity prevalence within the youth of America. Currently, First Lady, Michelle Obama is focusing her efforts towards overcoming childhood obesity within her Let's Move! campaign. This campaign works with both families and children, educating them on the importance of eating right and physical activity. Her efforts go towards educating parents on how to foster environments that support healthy choices. While great efforts are being made towards the childhood obesity epidemic and families are becoming more aware of how to create healthier homes, it is the adolescent demographic that is being left in the shadows. This demographic includes not only teenagers, but specifically teenagers leaving home to go off to college. Despite all of the in-home guidance that parents are able to provide for their children, when the kids leave the nest, decision-making becomes their own responsibility.

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The healthier options need to be the easier options. —MICHELLE OBAMA

COLLEGE STUDENTS Going off to college is the first major life change that a person FRESHMAN 15

endures in their lifetime. It is during this transition that a college

A popular term for a ‘rite of passage’ affecting many American students in the first year of college or university in which they live away from home.

freshman is faced with making decisions all on their own, which for many, is a first. The decisions they make heavily affect their overall college experience as well as their quality of life. They now have to decide such things as what foods to eat, how much sleep to get and how much studying they should do in order to get the grades they want. While college is a time for teenagers to gain freedom and independence from their parents, it is also a critical time when important lifestyle habits are being developed. From late-night study sessions to 8 a.m. classes, college students are thrown into a whirlwind of deadlines and due dates that greatly affect all aspects of their daily lives. When rushing to class or pulling an all-nighter, eating high calorie, fast, comfort foods can dominate the freshman diet. Hence, the Freshman 15. When placed under these stressful times, college students tend to make unhealthy choices for themselves, eating the wrong food and getting little sleep. To make matters worse, the prevalence of unhealthy food options on or around campus has increased dramatically. Currently, 30% of college students have reported to being overweight or obese. With the increase in pounds comes the increase in obesity-related health problems, once considered only the concern of older generations. Unhealthy options have become too accessible during this formative time when eating habits are being developed. Habits that could potentially continue on into adulthood, and lead to serious health problems down the road. My mission is to provide college students with access to healthier options as well as to provide guidance on how to incorporate healthier foods into their daily lives.

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DEFINE THE PROBLEM Pe rs o n a l B a c k g ro u n d Thesis Development Defining Obesity Im p o r t a n c e o f E a t i n g We l l Ke y In s i g h t s T h e s i s P ro p o s a l

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BACKGROUND Growing up, my family valued the importance of sit down dinners with home-cooked meals. From the meatloaf to spaghetti to pot roast with mashed potatoes, we grew up eating hearty, stick-tothe-ribs types of meals that made for three healthy and strong daughters (thanks mom and dad.) Overall, I was pretty active growing up, playing soccer for both school and club. Once I hit high school and my body began to go through the normal changes, I began to take notice of the foods I was eating and how they affected my body. I began to eat somewhat healthier, consuming less red meat and eating smaller portions. At home, we also began to eat healthier, eating more chicken with salads and steamed vegetables (now minus the melted slice of American cheese on top). However, once I went off to college at Indiana University, it was a whole different story. No longer active in sports and going to the gym almost never, I unfortunately gained the freshman 15 (or 50). With all 8 a.m. classes freshman year and all-nighters on top of that, it is safe to say that I didn't make the best food choices for myself. Rushing to class in the morning, eating breakfast was not first priority. It usually consisted of a bagel or muffin from the cafe in the art school during break. From there it went downhill. Once the dining hall became tasteless and unappealing, my friends and I would go to Steak N' Shake for dinner or order a Big 10 pizza from Pizza Express. We didn't have a lot of healthy options on campus. The Main library, where students should be spending most of their time, the only options available iwere Chick-fil-a or delivery. Going to the dining hall is of course an option for Freshman, but they were not conveniently located. Despite doing well in college, I failed at making healthy choices for myself, and it showed. Once I graduated and began working in the professional world I decided it was time to get rid of that extra weight. I began exercising and eating right. Over the years, I have developed a love for wholesome foods and a true passion for how to prepare them. This passion is one that I share with my family and friends and anyone that will listen. Nowadays my family and I enjoy sharing new recipes or foods we've tried as well as local farmer's markets and CSA boxes. While we still love Mom's potato salad and Dad's burgers (we are from the South afterall), we also love the taste of roasted vegetables and grilled fish. We've taken the time to learn how to properly prepare foods using very little ingredients but we've also learned to appreciate how eating right makes us feel.

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When it came time to choose a thesis topic, I decided I wanted to PERIMETER OF THE GROCERY STORE

use my own experience to find a way to inspire people to make

Studies show that the perimeter of the grocery store is filled with both the healthiest and the freshest food. Nutritionists advise that the majority of your basket be filled with these foods.

each type of food item that existed on the perimeter of the grocery

better eating choices. My initial concept revolved around getting into the grocery store to provide educational material on how to prepare store. In theory, this was a great concept—providing customers with on-site food preparation ideas to take the guesswork out of how to prepare certain foods. However, when it comes to the grocery store, it's impenetrable. Going forward, I was challenged to seek out another way to reach people. In order to have an impact, I knew this thesis had to exist in the physical realm where the decisions about food are being made.

CSA BOXES

Even moreso, it was important to establish a target audience that

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. By purchasing a "share" consumers receive weekly boxes of produce directly from the local farm.

was impressionable and somewhat new to the decision-making process: college freshman.

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BLOOD PRESSURE B lo o d pressure is the force of blood pu s h i n g ag ainst the w al l s of t he a rte ri e s as the hear t p ump s blood. I f t h i s pressure r ises and stay s high ove r t i m e, it can d amag e the body in m a n y w a y s. I t can lead to coronary h e a rt di sease, hear t fail ure, st roke, a n d k i dn ey fail ure.

BLOOD GLUCOSE The blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose present in the blood. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body's cells. A persistently high level of blood sugar is referred to as hyperglycemia; low levels are referred to as hypoglycemia.

T R I G LY C E R I D E S Triglycerides are a type of fat in the bloodstream and fat tissue. Large amounts of triglycerides can contribute to the hardening and narrowing of your arteries. Normal triglyceride levels are below 150. Levels above 200 are high. High triglycerides occur along with high levels of cholesterol

CHOLESTEROL Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in all of your cells and has several useful functions, including helping to build your body's cells. It is carried through your bloodstream attached to proteins.. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries.

HDL "GOOD CHOLESTEROL" HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) act as cholesterol scavengers, picking up excess cholesterol in your blood and taking it back to your liver where it's broken down. The higher your HDL level, the less "bad" cholesterol you'll have in your blood thus reducing your risk for heart disease.

CORONARY HEART DISEASE Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Coronary heart disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries to your heart. CHD is the leading cause of death in the United States among men and women.

DIABETES Diabetes is usually a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. Type 1, the body cannot produce insulin and glucose stays in the blood. Type 2, the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells ignore the insulin. Both types damage body's organ systems.

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BODY MASS INDEX

HEALTHY

18–24.9 OVERWEIGHT

25–29.9 OBESE

30–39.9 MORBID OBESE

40+

D E F I N I N G O B E S I T Y - R E L AT E D T E R M S A relatively healthy non-smoking adult with a a body mass index M E TA B O L I C SYNDROME

(BMI) below 25 is associated with the lowest risk of death.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

means they are 20% or more above the ideal weight for their height

Individuals are considered obese when their BMI is over 30, which and age. Morbid obesity refers to individuals that are 50–100% over normal weight. This means that their BMI is 40 or higher and they are at least 100 pounds over the ideal weight for their height and age range. Ultimately weight gain and obesity are caused by consuming more calories than the body uses. While this may seem like a no-brainer, there are a variety of underlying issues that contribute to this type of behavior. Some of the major issues include age, gender, genetics, environmental factors, physical activity, psychological factors, illness and medications. Environmental factors include anything from what and when a person eats to the level of physical activity they partake in daily. When we take children into consideration, for the most part, we try to keep them as active as possible to allow them to burn off their endless amounts of energy that they possess at that age. Once children grow to be middle school and high school teenagers, many will take part in some form of team sport or individual athletics, either by personal choice or parental persuasion. The imbalance generally begins to occur when they graduate from high school. What used to take center stage, such as physical activity and balanced meals, goes by the wayside as students seek to experience college to the fullest with their new found freedom. The result: the pounds pack on and their health deteriorates. At a time when obesity among Americans is a national epidemic, the college generation is too often overlooked.

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The health problems once associated with only the older generations are now the concern of younger generations.

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In 2007, the University of New Hampshire collected and analyzed data from 800 undergraduate students that provided a plethora of insightful information on this understudied demographic. The students were asked to engage in a variety of health-indicator screenings such as blood pressure and cholesterol and filled out questionnaires regarding their lifestyle behaviors and dietary habits. Their findings were astounding. Individual results shocked many of the students, and the collective data contradicted the notion that college students are at the peak of health. Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of five risk factors (high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat, high blood glucose, high triglycerides, and low HDL or “good� cholesterol) that are predictive of future development of heart disease and diabetes, is particularly prevalent in males. 66% of males (compared to 50% of females) had at least one risk for metabolic syndrome, and 8% of males had metabolic syndrome. The health problems once associated with only the older generations are now the concern of younger generations.

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I M P O R TA N C E O F E AT I N G R I G H T Researchers at Oregon State University surveyed nearly 600 college students, mostly freshmen, about their eating habits. They found that most students do not eat even one serving of fruit or vegetables a day. The findings show that many students skip meals fairly frequently but consume more than 30% of their calories from fat, which exceeds the American Dietetics Association's recommendations. So while they are not eating frequently, the foods they choose to eat are quick, cheap and unhealthy options that provide little nutritional value. Consuming this type of food can only lead to less than favorable outcomes. With the amount of sugar and fat that is packed into junk food these days, students are setting themselves up for failure. Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy diet directly affects cognitive functioning related to memory, test grades, and school attendance. Inadequate nutrition negatively influences academic performance and alertness. One of the major nutrients that a poor diet lacks is iron. Iron deficiencies contribute to fatigue, failure to focus, lack of attention and the inability to complete prolonged work assignments. Researchers at Vanderbilt University found a link between poor nutrition and literacy tests for 5,000 elementary-level students aged 10 to 11. "The study targeted consumption of fast-food meals for more than three meals per week as the trigger for lower scores. Correlations included an approximately 7 percent decline in reading scores for children dining on fast food four to six times each week. Daily junk-food diners had scores more than 16 percent lower than the scoring averages. The World Research Foundation concludes that a healthy dining plan without fast food impacts a child's concentration, attention span, learning ability, brain function and even behavior.�

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G O O D FAT M O N O U N S AT U R AT E D FAT ( M U FA ) A type of fat found in a variety of foods and oils. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also shows that MUFAs may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.

P O LY U N S AT U R AT E D FAT ( P U FA ) A type of fat found mostly in oils and plant-based foods. Evidence shows that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. PUFAs may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. One type, omega-3 fatty acids, may be especially beneficial to your heart.

B A D FAT S AT U R AT E D FAT A type of fat that comes mainly from animal sources of food. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

T R A N S FAT This is a type of fat that occurs naturally in some foods, especially foods from animals. But most trans fats are made during food processing through partial hydrogenation of unsaturated fats. This process creates fats that are easier to cook with and less likely to spoil than are naturally occurring oils.

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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. —MICHAEL POLLAN

W H AT W E S H O U L D B E E AT I N G According to the Harvard School of Public Health, we should be consuming a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains; choose foods with healthy fats, limit red meat and foods high in saturated fat; and avoid foods that contain trans fats. Drink lots of water, it helps to keep a bottle with you throughout the day. Limit sugary drinks and avoid diet drinks if at all possible, as they contain questionable chemicals. Make smart snack choices and most of all, read labels. Over the past decade or two, the terms fat-free and low-fat have taken over the food industry. From bread to cookies to cheese, the options are endless. Most people are not aware that the fat that has been extracted has to be replaced with something in order for it to taste good. The something is usually a lot of sugar which is then stored as fat since it is not burned off right away. What is also missing in these fat-free unsuperstars is the satiety that healthy fat provides. Instead, these foods create a sugar high which ultimately leads to a sugar crash an hour later leaving you tired and still hungry. When our body doesn't feel satiated it will continue to crave nutrition, so if we keep reaching for the fat-free stuff, we'll have to consume more of which means more calories. This is a major reason why some health-conscious people have trouble losing weight. This may come as a surprise but fat is not fattening. Healthy fat that is. Our bodies need fat to be able to function properly. It provides us with more energy and helps to sustain us longer. Fat helps with cell membrane function, body temperature and brain regulation which helps to keep us awake and alert.

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College students are aware of the importance of eating right but unhealthy food is cheaper and much more convenient. KEY INSIGHTS During my research phase, I had the pleasure of meeting with a certified nutritionist as well as several college students from all over the Unites States from California to Indiana to South Carolina. Despite geographical differences, most of the responses had one thing in common: students are aware of the importance of eating right. The two major barriers that keep them from doing so are cost and convenience. Unfortunately within the college environment, convenience outweighs everything else in most cases. One student shared how she rarely ate outside of the dining hall because nothing else was within walking distance, not even the grocery store. However her enthusiastic response, as well as other's individual responses, to a mobile market on-campus validated that there is a true need for this concept.

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Cathy found that the majority of students she spoke with on campus were consuming little to no fruits and vegetables.

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C AT H Y F I S H E R N U T R I T I O N I S T / W E L L N E S S C O U N S E LO R FO O D DAY

Cathy and I first met over a year ago at the Mustard Seed in

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable and sustainable food. Food Day takes place annually on October 24 to address issues as varied as health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, animal welfare and farm worker justice. The ultimate goal of Food Day is to strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation's food policies.

Charleston, SC while I was home for Thanksgiving. Cathy is a busy lady with great credentials. She is an Industrial Engineer by day, a certified nutritionist and a pilates instructor. She is passionate about the things she does from creating local food awareness to overall health management, she plays a very active role within the local community. As a nutritionist and wellness counselor, Cathy has worked with a variety of age groups in order to provide guidance on how to eat right. As an active participant in Food Day, Cathy has had the pleasure of sharing the importance of this day with college students at the College of Charleston. Last year, Food Day 2011, Cathy spent the entire day promoting healthy, local food to college students. To each student that she was able to converse with, she asked what they had eaten that day. To her surprise, the majority of the answers she received included anything but fresh food. From coffee to donuts to pastries to maybe a slice of pizza the responses were alarming. Cathy has been a great mentor and resource throughout the development of this thesis through the insights she has been able to provide as well as her willingness to share her connections.

KEY INSIGHT: COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE NOT EATING RIGHT. THEY ARE DEVELOPING POOR EATING HABITS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY LEAD TO A LIFE OF SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS.

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ANDREW MITCHELL

JESSICA ARNOLD

INDIANA UNIVERSITY

S T. M A R Y ' S U N I V E R S I T Y

The majority of Andrew's meals come from the grocery store rather

St. Mary's dining hall is serviced by Chartwell's, a food service that

than the dining hall on campus. Despite the healhty options that are

according to Jessica is of poor quality and lacks nutrition. Most of

available, his go-to meal in the dining hall is from Charley Biggs

her meals come from either the dining hall, where a sandwich is the

Chicken (local Fried Chicken restaurant). Outside of the dining hall,

healthiest option available, or Domino's pizza delivery. There are

the items you'll find in his pantry are Lucky Charms, beef jerky,

no food options other than the dining hall that are within walking

milk, chicken, frozen dinners, block cheese, lettuce and carrots.

distance on or around campus. If Jessica wants to go to the grocery

While he likes the idea of a mobile market that provides convenient foods, sandwiches and the like, his only request was that it was not affiliated with the University so everyone could purchase from it. KEY INSIGHT: MAKE MOBILE MARKET ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE.

store, she has to hitch a ride with someone. For this reason in particular, the idea of the mobile market was well-received, it would enable her to have access to fresh food without having to go through the trouble of finding a ride to get to the grocery store. Her response to having a potential food prep/nutrition class made available to students, her response was this: "I took a nutrition class, but it was not what I expected. It went very in depth to the point where I did not understand some parts. I wanted a basic class about what is in the main foods you eat, what is healthy about a food and what you should stay away from. I would have liked it to be focused more on our everyday diets." KEY INSIGHT: MOBILE MARKET FILLS THE VOID OF GROCERY STORE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE ACCESSIBLE. EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL NEEDS TO BE BASIC AND APPLICABLE.

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SARAH NEWMAN

ALISON PHILLIPS

C O LU M B I A I N T ' L U N I V E R S I T Y

C O LU M B I A I N T ' L U N I V E R S I T Y

Sarah is a college sophomore who understands the value of eating

Alison probably eats the best out of anyone I interviewed. While

right. She tries to eat fresh fruits and vegetables 2–3 times per

the dining hall food is okay, she likes to make her own stir fry

week. She shops at the grocery store to make quick meals, her go-

using vegetables off of the salad bar and rice from the hot bar (if it

to being peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When she does eat in

isn't three days old). While the dining hall provides students with

the dining hall, her tray consists of rice and beans with ground beef

wholesome fruits and vegetables, the main dishes are not very

and cheese. The dining hall provides both healthy and unhealthy

healthy and they seem to use leftovers quite a bit.

options but "neither taste that good."

Alison loves the idea of a mobile market. To her, the idea of having

When asked how she would feel about a mobile food market,

access to "fresh-made food like wraps, hummus, vegetables and

she was excited by the possibility of having access to fresh fruit

fruit, maybe some soups NOT using last Monday's meat" was pretty

(pineapple in particular) on campus. She explained how her and

enticing. She is very aware of the type of food that is served in the

her friends know very little about how to prepare meals and they

dining hall. "I hate eating in the dining hall knowing that my food is

would be interested in learning more about it.

really processed, came from a huge tub, and has likely been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days."

KEY INSIGHT: SEEKS HEALTHY OPTIONS THAT TASTES GOOD. KEY INSIGHT: UTILIZING INGREDIENTS ON THE SALAD BAR AND HOT BAR TO CREATE DISHES AT HOME.

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TRACEY DOWLAN

N AT E B E A D L E

D E PA U W U N I V E R S I T Y

U C - D AV I S

According to Tracey, the dining options at DePauw are few and far

Nate eats the majority of his meals at the dining hall at UC Davis.

between. What is offered is not very high quality food. The majority

He aims to eat fruits and vegetables at least 3–4 times a week. The

of her meals come from restaurants and the grocery store. Her

quality of the dining hall food is average with a lot of healthy options

go-to meals are sandwiches and frozen dinners, fruit and yogurt.

that don't necessarily taste that good.

When asked if she would have any interest in nutrition/food prep

Within the dining hall, his go-to meal is usually pasta or stir-fry,

classes on campuses, she kindly declined explaining that she didn't

or if nothing is appealing, pizza with a salad or a grilled cheese.

think it would matter to most students.

Outside of the dining hall, his go-to is ramen or frozen potstickers for lunch or dinner with cereal for breakfast every morning. He

KEY INSIGHT: NOT EVERYONE WILL BE INTERESTED.

has a fridge in his dorm where he likes to keep milk, orange juice, frozen meals/snacks like potstickers and bagel bites in the freezer when he doesn't have time to go to the dining hall. The idea of a mobile market was well-received, especially with the option of providing a variety of fresh fruit. KEY INSIGHT: NEEDS ACCESS TO HEALTHY OPTIONS ON-THE-GO.

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MICHELLE DEARMAN

JASON WALKER

INDIANA UNIVERSITY

C O LU M B I A I N T ' L U N I V E R S I T Y

As a Junior at IU, Michelle no longer eats at the dining halls on

Jason eats most of his meal on-campus at the dining hall and aims

campus. When she did, she noticed a variety of both healthy and

to eat fruits and vegetables as much as he can. While the food is

unhealthy options available, but no gluten-free options.

okay, there are few healthy options available to students. Within the

Currently, she shops at Kroger or orders delivery. Her go-to meals are pasta with hard-boiled eggs and frozen chicken nuggets. She tries to eat right, but doesn't have the funds to eat fresh food all of the time. While the idea of a mobile market is enticing, she is concerned about cost. She recommended the option of billing to the bursar or allowing students to use their meal points towards food purchases.

dining hall, Jason usually goes for sandwiches and cereal. Outside of the dining hall, his go-to meal is at Chick-fil-a. Chick-fil-a is one of many fast food places around campus. McDonald's, Subway and KFC are close-by. He would be interested in a fresh mobile market because he believes eating healthy is important. KEY INSIGHT: NEEDS ACCESS TO HEALTHY OPTIONS ON-THE-GO.

With regard to a nutrition/food prep class, she was only slightly enthusiastic, mostly because of her strict class schedule. The potential to have a mandatory class for freshman and sophomores where they could take the food home or learn how to shop for fresh food and how to keep it fresh in the dorms, was a little more up her alley. She also liked the idea of introducing students to current websites that offer healthy recipes. KEY INSIGHT: KEEP COSTS BUDGET-FRIENDLY. PROVIDE OPTION TO USE MEAL POINTS TOWARDS FOOD PURCHASES FROM MOBILE MARKET. MAKE CLASSES MANDATORY FOR FRESHMAN ON THE BASICS OF SHOPPING FOR HEALTHY FOOD.

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I want to encourage college students to develop healthy eating habits by providing access to wholesome foods to students on the go.

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THESIS PROPOSAL With unhealthy options so prevalent on or near most college campuses, students are consuming foods that are quick, cheap and tasty; full of calories but lacking nutrition. When consuming fast food becomes a common occurence several times a week, we have a problem. Students are not just consuming unhealthy levels of fat, sugar and empty calories, they're also not consuming the necessary nutrients they need to sustain their high-stress lifestyles. In order to encourage college students to eat better, healthier on-campus options need to be as accessible, cheap and palatable as fast food. I present UChews, a mobile market that offers fresh, healthy options for students on-the-go. My mission is to initiate the conversation on how to eat better by introducing students to wholesome food and providing guidance on how to make healthier food choices within their daily lives.

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DEVELOP THE SOLUTION W h y a fo o d t r u c k ? C u r re n t C o m p e t i t i o n P ro c e s s

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FOOD TRUCKS Over the past 5 years, the food truck phenomenon has swept FOOD TRUCK A food truck, mobile kitchen, mobile canteen, or catering truck is a mobile venue that sells food. Some, including ice cream trucks, sell mostly frozen or prepackaged food; others are more like restaurants-onwheels. Food truck dining as a popular phenomenon has caught on in several large U.S. cities including District of Columbia, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Saint Louis.

the country. With a large presence in many of the larger cities including New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, it is currently making it's way into the smaller cities throughout the country. Similar to other popular trends, the food truck concept is a long-standing tradition in American and world culture. Its origin dates back to the chuckwagon an invention attributed to Charles Goodnight, a Texas rancher who introduced the concept in 1866. Goodnight modified the Studebaker wagon, a durable army-surplus wagon, to suit the needs of cowboys driving cattle from Texas to sell in New Mexico. Goodnight added a "chuck box" to the back of the wagon with drawers and shelves for storage space and a hinged lid to provide a flat cooking surface. There were not a lot of fresh items available on the chuckwagon, it mostly consisted of easy-topreserve food staples such as dried beans, salted meats, coffee and sourdough biscuits, the bare necessities that were easy to store and easy to make. In the 1950's, mobile canteens were constructed, otherwise known as "roach coaches." Canteens were utilized to feed construction workers and other blue collar professionals. In recent years, the resurgence of the mobile food truck trend is fuelled by a combination of post-recessionary factors. In larger cities, the food truck is a great source for those on-the-go to purchase a quick bite at a wallet-friendly cost. With shorter lunch breaks and a slowgrowing economy, this trend doesn't appear to be going away any time soon.

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THE APPEAL Why did I choose to create a mobile market? For several reasons. The major appeal of developing a mobile market versus a brickand-mortar establishment is lower cost. Food trucks have taken off because they have lower overhead than fixed facilities where rent alone can be exorbitant. Obviously the ability to be mobile has great appeal. On a college campus, it is vital that the market has the ability to park in various spots throughout campus not only for exposure but also to provide access to a large number of students. With this comes the ability to connect with college students on a one-on-one basis, to get to know them, to let them see who is preparing their food. This is a great quality about food trucks, there is more of an awareness and appreciation for the food provided when you're able to meet and converse with those that prepare your food. Establishing a food truck is no easy task, so the ones that are successful are usually the most passionate about what they're doing and they love nothing more than sharing it with others. Lastly, the ability to provide a wide array of simply prepared foods is an important quality that is unique to the UChews concept. Usually food trucks prepare 4–5 set items that they rarely stray from. However, with UChews, we plan to develop menus that change up either due to foods received or what's in season. By creating simpler grab-and-go items, UChews will be able to offer a wider variety of items that are either prepared fresh on the truck, prepackaged or fresh from the market (produce).

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THE MOBILE MARKET UChews is more than just a food truck. Currently, mobile markets MOBILE MARKET

refer to vans or buses that act as grocery stores on wheels. The

A truck or bus that provides services to neighborhoods that have very limited access to healthy food sources. Many utilize a school bus where customers can walk onto the bus to pick up any fresh produce they'd like at affordable prices.

mobile market concept was developed out of necessity to reach food deserts what are on the rise throughout the country. Having access to fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to a healthy diet because they provide a wide array of valuable nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium and vitamins A and C that may help protect your from chronic diseases. According to calculations based on my age and amount of physical activity, I should be eating 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables EVERY DAY. 1.5 cups of fruit would translate into an apple and a small banana. 2.5 cups of vegetables translates to a salad with 1 cup of lettuce and .5 cup of other vegetables as well as 6 baby carrots for a snack.

FOOD DESERT

In order to find out how much you should be eating, visit Center

A food desert is a district in an urban setting with little or no access to large grocery stores that offer fresh and affordable foods needed to maintain a healthy diet.

for Disease Control and Prevention's website where you can utilize the Fruit and Vegetable calculator and learn more about how to incorporate fresh produce into your diet. Essentially, UChews will be a combination of both a food truck and a mobile market. It will provide freshly prepared healthy items, such as sandwiches and prepared vegetables as well as a variety of fresh produce that comes from local farmers or local distributors based on the season. This will provide college students that are on-the-go with access to grabbing something nutritious that will keep them satiated and alert in class.

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SEABIRDS LO S A N G E L E S , CA Seabirds provides customers with local vegan and organic fare with various gluten-free and soyfree options available. They serve items such as vegan tacos and apple and beet salad.

CLOVER TRUCK BOSTON, MA These trucks (in 11 locations) feature a changing menu focusing on freshness with juices, summer salads, and winter soups. The food truck fleet serves local, vegetarian, mostly organic meals with hand-cut fries and fritters on the side.

F O O D FA R M SAN DIEGO,CA With a gourmet touch, they shell out staples like grass-fed beef sliders with caramelized onions, and a baby greens salad with citrus and candied nuts.

GMONKEY DURHAM, CT They source most of their ingredients from local farms and food producers. GMonkey offers vegan and gluten-free options including vegan donuts, locally produced cheeses and sweet potato fries (cooked in 100 percent vegetarian canola oil).

GREEN TRUCK LA/SAN DIEGO, CA They pride themselves on being green all the way around. They serve items such as vegan burgers and heirloom beet and quinoa salad.

P H AT N A PA , C A Phat, which stands for Pretty Healthy And Tasty, serves salads tossed in a bowl or bundled up in a tortilla wrap, and soup.

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CO M P E T I T I O N The competition for UChews lies in both the college food services already put in place as well as established food trucks that are in existence. The majority of colleges use one of the three major Food Services: Compass Group, Aramark, and Sodexo. Some colleges and universities provide their own food services, called “Self-Ops.� These schools usually have some sort of hospitality or restaurant school within that helps out in this area. The majority of food trucks currently in business today are successful because they have developed a unique concept or twist on a particular dish or cuisine. From tacos to cupcakes to local cuisine, the bases are pretty much covered. All food trucks and mobile markets, despite what they offer, will still be viewed as competition. However, the main ones (listed on the left) that stand out currently are trucks that focus heavily on healthier options and local cuisine. These trucks have actually been an inspiration during the development of this concept. Being able to see what others are offering is helpful when creating the menu for UChews. However, the major issues with some of these trucks is that items get too expensive due to the use of fancy ingredients that few college students are likely to purchase at the grocery store. The focus of UChews is simplicity and convenience, the ability to utilize the basics to provide healthy meals that are easy on the wallet and taste good. Due to the lack of educational guidance and presence on college campuses, these trucks pose less of a threat.

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C R E AT I N G A V O I C E Choosing a name for this thesis proved to be quite challenging due to the oversaturation of health-related businesses, blogs, websites and campaigns currently in existence. In the beginning, I created long lists of any and all words associated with the food and healthy industry. From there I began breaking down words to parts and pieces in order to mix them with other words to try to figure out the perfect word that would encompass my three key adjectives: health, food and accessibility. The true test came when I narrowed the list down to a few favorites and took them to the web. About 3/4 of the words I had chosen were already in use in some form or another. Some had working sites attached to them, others were just placeholders. Despite the challenge of figuring out the perfect name, I knew I wanted one that was active and in-the-now and one that reflects the essence of what this thesis is all about.

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MOODBOARDS Inspiration for logo, identity and packaging.

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LOGO WORK Sketches and computer work during logo development.

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Chews

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PA C K A G I N G Both inspiration and templates used for development of packaging concepts.

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REVEAL THE BRAND T h U C h e w s B ra n d Ma t e r i a l s Ma t r i x B ra n d G u i d e l i n e s

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THE UCHEWS BRAND BRAND A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

One of the most important aspects of any new company, other than the business plan, is developing an identity that is unique and reflects the true essence of the brand. In order for a brand to successfully reach a specific audience, it is important to define the needs and wants of that audience by gaining a more thorough understanding of who they are. This means researching where they shop, what they wear, what they do in their free time, what their dorm room looks like, etc. By taking a closer look at the various aspects of a demographic, the designer can only then begin to create an identity that truly reflects that demographic.

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MOBILE MARKET Develop and design the overall look and design of the truck to fit the concept and reflect the brand.

MOBILE MARKET

BUSINESS PLAN

PA C K A G I N G Develop a portable packaging system for the items sold within the UChews mobile market that reflect the brand.

SANDWICHES

SALADS

GRANOLA

POPCORN

E D U C AT I O N A L Website, cards and magnets are all items students can access or use while in their own own kitchen. Each item offers guidance with regard to basic DIY food prep as well as suggestions for healthier options at meal time.

WEBSITE

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FOOD PREP CARDS

MAGNETS

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M AT E R I A L S M AT R I X Chart of items created in order to fulfill the needs and demands of creating this thesis project.

IDENTITY Develop identity of the brand including the logo, business stationery and value card for students.

STATIONERY

NUTS

V E G E TA B L E S

P R E PA R E D I T E M S

LOGO

S O U P / S M O O T H I E / O AT M E A L

VALUE CARD

PRODUCE BAG

SEASONING KIT

PROMOTIONAL Various items used to create exposure for the brand. Stickers, t-shirts worn by students, posters and social network profiles will be created to stay up-to-date on current trends and happenings on college campuses.

STICKER

APPAREL

POSTERS

SOCIAL NETWORKS

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VISUAL APPEARANCE Imagery that reflects the demographic being targeted by the UChews concept.

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C O LO R PA L E T T E Colors utilized within the UChews brand to keep everything consistent throughout. Colors are designated to specific categories which is utilized within the packaging and educational material.

NUTRITION

PROTEIN

The various shades of BLUE are used to

The various shades of RED are used for

promote healthy foods that provide proper nutrition and satiety.

high-protein foods such as eggs, yogurt and quinoa.

VEGETABLES The various shades of GREEN are used to promote how to simply prepare a variety of vegetables.

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CMYK 52 / 0 / 18 / 0

CMYK 52 /0/18/10

CMYK 85/32/43/5

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CMYK 0/88/100/10

CMYK 18/90/100/16

RGB

RGB

RGB

217/64/32

CMYK 29/ 0 / 100/ 10

CMYK 65/20/90/4

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RGB

RGB

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T Y P E FA C E S

LARGE TEXT

A modified version of Ranger is used for all of the large text and callouts.

RANGER (modified x-height)

DIN Pro is used for all other small text.

TEXT DIN PRO

ABCDEFGHIJ KLMNOPQRS TUVWXYZabc defghijklmno pqrstuvwxyz 0123456789 PA G E _ 7 6

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LANGUAGE Creates an active voice within the slogans and promotional materials.

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LOGO USAGE Right and wrong ways to use the UChews logo.

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THE FINAL PRODUCT D e l i v e ra b l e s

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THE UCHEWS MOBILE MARKET The UChews mobile market is the soul of the UChews concept. The design and mobility of this market will allow the UChews team to provide students with better access to fresh, wholesome foods.

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TUESDAY MENU February 0 Breakfast

Steel Cut Oats with Brown Suga Whole-Wheat Wrap with Scramb Whole-Wheat Wrap with Banana Fresh Strawberry-Banana Smoo Greek Yogurt with Gluten-Free G

Lunch / Dinner

Pita Sandwich with Avocado, Spr Greek Salad w/ Chicken (Vegetar Lemon Chicken Soup with Brow Quinoa, Black Bean and Avocado

Small Bites

Smoked Turkey or All-Veggie Ro Fresh Fruit salad with Yogurt Melon Balls

Snacks

Cucumbers & Carrots w/ Humm Apples & Peanut Butter Raw Almonds Homemade Trail Mix Lightly Salted Edamame Salt & Pepper Homemade Popc

TO DAY’ S S P E CI A L S :

U CHE W S G O O DFO O D. CO M 312.450.5581

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TUESDAY MENU February 05 Breakfast Steel Cut Oats with Brown Sugar, Golden Raisins & Walnuts Whole-Wheat Wrap with Scrambled Eggs, Red Pepper & Feta Cheese Whole-Wheat Wrap with Banana & Natural Almond Butter Fresh Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Greek Yogurt with Gluten-Free Granola & Fresh Fruit

Lunch / Dinner Pita Sandwich with Avocado, Sprouts, a variety of Fresh Vegeta Greek Salad with Chicken (Vegetarian Option Available) Lemon Chicken Soup with Brown Rice Quinoa, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Small Bites Smoked Turkey or All-Veggie Roll-Ups Fresh Fruit Salad with Yogurt Melon Balls

Snacks

05

ar, Golden Raisins & Walnuts bled Eggs, Red Pepper & Feta Cheese a & Natural Almond Butter othie Granola & Fresh Fruit

$3.25 $5.25 $4.50 $3.75 $3.75

routs and variety of fresh vegetables rian Option Available) wn Rice o Salad

$5.25 $6.25 $5.50 $4.75

oll-Ups

$2.25 $2.25 $2.50

mus

$3.25 $3.00 $4.25 $3.75 $3.25 $2.50

corn

Cucumbers & Carrots w/ Hummus Apples & Peanut Butter Raw Almonds Homemade Trail Mix Lightly Salted Edamame Popcorn

U CH E W S GLUTEN-FREE GLUTEN-FREE POPCORN GLUTEN-FREE POPCORN POPCORN

GLUTEN-FREE GLUTEN-FREE GRANOLA GLUTEN-FREE GRANOLA GRANOLA

HIGH-PROTEIN HIGH-PROTEIN GRANOLA HIGH-PROTEIN GRANOLA GRANOLA

@ U CH E W S

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U C H EWS

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MOBILE MARKET DESIGN The look of the truck is meant to be eyecatching and appealing to everyone as well as reflect the overall UChews brand. There are too many food trucks and mobile markets currently that lack good tasteful design and overwhelm the viewer visually.

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FOOD ITEMS UChews will offer a variety of wholesome, delicious food from hot steel-cut oatmeal in the morning to seasonal items such as homemade soups in the fall and fresh fruits smoothies in the spring. The food offered is nutritious food that will help students stay alert.

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PA C K A G I N G The packaging is designed to be not only sustainable, but portable as well. It is important that the object itself is easy to grab-and-go since students probably already have a load of stuff they have to carry. The sustainable aspect of this line is important because it prevents giving students anything extra. As long as the food is good, basic, good-looking packaging is all you need. No bells and whistles necessary.

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UCHEWS WEBSITE The website provides students with access to the most up-todate information with regard to the truck as well as a variety of resources to encourage healthy eating.

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UCHEWS WEBSITE Students will have access to the UChews blog that highlights new favorite foods and recipes to try. The DIY Recipe section works as a how-to guide for basic food prep. Students can use this feature to learn simple ways to prepare wholesome foods.

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BUSINESS CARD & MAGNETS The business cards and magnets provide students with handy reference tools to stick in their wallet or on their fridge to use at their convenience. The designs include information on simple food prep as well as simple ideas for foods to grab on-the-go that are healthy and tasty.

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SOCIAL NETWORKS The largest group of social network users is the same demographic that UChews is trying to reach. By creating profiles on Facebook and Twitter, students can receive up-todate information on the whereabouts of the UChews market.

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UCHEWS BUSINESS PLAN In order to make the UChews concept a reality, several items had to BUSINESS PLAN

be developed in order to flush out how this concept would exist in

A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals.

the real world with regard to finances and real world competition that already exists. In order to defend this concept and show that it is an idea worth backing, both a business plan and competitive analysis had to be created. The information on the following pages explains the problem that I am currently trying to solve, the consequence(s) of said problem, how much it will cost to solve the problem and why my solution is sound and worth funding.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable push towards

finding that along with not eating fruits and vegetables, their lack

eating healthier. The health and food industry is overly saturated

of major nutrients was alarming. They even had several male

with self-help books, cookbooks, iPhone apps that aim to help

students that were already prone to chronic health diseases due

people make better food choices for themselves and their families.

to the amount of fat they were consuming. The findings prove the

While these are all great attempts at solving a nationwide problem,

assumption that college students only think they’re invincible to

an important demographic is being overlooked and underserved.

health issues. As of recent 30% of college students report being

The way that people eat and what they eat is out of habit. As children, parents are responsible for providing their kids with the proper foods in order for their kids to grow up strong and healthy.

overweight or obese. With the increase in weight comes the increase in health problems that we once only associated with older generations. Change has to be made.

Under parental supervision, kids are more likely to eat their fruits

In order to encourage college students to eat better, healthier

and vegetables. However, the imbalance begins in the teenage years,

on-campus options need to be as accessible, cheap and palatable

specifically when teenagers go off to college and the responsibility

as fast food. UChews is a mobile market that offers fresh, healthy

to eat right and make healthy choices is all their own.

options for students on-the-go. My mission is to initiate the

In most college dining halls, the variety of foods available to students does not go unnoticed. Based on interviews with current college students it appears that despite the quantity of options, the

conversation on how to eat better by introducing students to wholesome food and providing guidance on how to make healthier food choices.

quality is something to be desired. Students shared their dismay at the food that is available to them, stating how flavorless and unhealthy it is. When students are not eating in the dining hall then they are relying on either frozen dinners or fast food. Despite awareness of the importance of eating right, several students explained that they simply don't have access to tasty healthy food. Resorting to junk food or fast food is habit-forming, and this type of unhealthy eating can lead to serious problems down the road. At the rate they're going now, current college students are projected to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. A recent study by Oregon State University researchers surveyed the eating habits of 582 college students, a majority of which were first-year students

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B U S I N E S S N A M E & L O C AT I O N

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

The name of the business is UChews and it is currently located

With the use of potential government grants, UChews will use

in Bloomington, Indiana. UChews will be located on Indiana

the majority of that money to cover start-up costs and monthly

University's campus, where healthy lifestyles are less prevalent. I

costs to cover major expenses including the truck and monthly

share ownership presently with my father, Robert Shields, who has

salaries. The means in which UChews will make money is through

offered to provide an unsecured, low-interest loan for the start-up

additional donations and grants as well as the products that it will

of this new not for profit. UChews is a non-profit business which will

be selling. The products that will be sold on the UChews Mobile

allow this business to receive potential grants either from private

Market will include fresh produce (i.e.apples, carrots, avocados),

organizations or from the government. UChews will employ both

fresh menu items (i.e.salads, wraps, soups, sandwiches) to

myself and two other employees to work and maintain the truck.

prepared vegetables (roasted brussel sprouts, steamed artichoke).

As the concept grows and UChews is able to hire additional employees, it would be ideal to employ college students who would be given the opportunity to earn college credits for their time and efforts. Since current millenials are most influenced by what their peers are doing more than by media, having college students work within the market would help spread the word.

All products will be sold on the mobile food market that will be positioned in the middle of IU's campus in order to reach students in between classes when they’re most likely hungry and unable to get to the food court for anything remotely nutritious. Along with the food, we will also provide students with free educational material that they can use within their own kitchens to replicate foods that they’ve tried from our truck. By showcasing the simplicity of food prep, it provides students with a better understanding of what goes into making wholesome foods taste good as opposed to the soggy, over cooked vegetables most often found in dining halls. After surveying and interviewing current college students, the general consensus validates my research thus far with regard to the current state of college dining halls. Their poor reputation is spot-on. While there does exist college campuses where much effort and money has been put into the food services, there still exists many where this is not the case. By providing a service on-campus that students

25.3%

29% MIDWEST

NORTHEAST

have quick access to, the mobile market will not only be able to provide fresh food, but will also introduce students to different types of foods as well as different types of food preparation.

Indiana University Bloomington, IN

29.5% SOUTH

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COMPETITION The competition for UChews lies in both the college food services

food. These markets are grocery stores on wheels, usually within

already put in place as well as established food trucks that are in

a school bus, rather than a truck. Customers can then walk on the

existence. The majority of colleges use one of the three major Food

bus, down the ‘aisle’ lined with bins of fresh fruit and vegetables,

Services: Compass Group, Aramark, and Sodexo. Some colleges

which they can then purchase. These buses are funded by local

and universities provide their own food services, called “Self-Ops.”

donations and grants since they function as non-profit businesses.

These schools usually have some sort of hospitality or restaurant

These mobile markets do not provide any sort of prepared food, and

school within that helps out in this area.

do not contain a commercial kitchen in any sense. Some are actually

Due to the increased interest in healthy eating/living, some college

just reused yellow school buses.

campuses across the US are beginnging to incorporate healthier

One other competitor exists within low-cost food establishments.

options within the dining halls and grab n’ go markets. Some have

This market includes the fast food restaurants and convenience

been able to provide not only more nutritious food options but also

stores that exist on or around campus. By having UChews exist on

the nutritional information alongside them. The focus on eating

campus, it is our mission to decrease the amount of fast food and

right is increasing on college campuses nationwide, however, there

junk food consumption purchased from these places.

is still a large number of colleges that are not on board yet. The other set competition is the food truck explosion, from reality TV show, The Great Food Truck Race, to their increased presence within larger cities nationwide. Their greatest presence is in Los Angeles, New York City and Boston, but other cities are quickly catching on. The common thread amongst the food trucks already in motion, is their unique take on either a specific cuisine or a new twist on a particular food item. The concept is what makes or breaks the business. Some examples of successful concepts are bacon-wrapped hot dogs, taco trucks, thai-fusion, vegan softserve, organic donuts, and any sort of home-cooking. Research states that the more unique the idea/concept, the more likely the business will be successful. Some food trucks have even taken to college campuses, which is my number one competition entering this market. UCLA has as of recent, began allowing food trucks to drive on-campus to sell to the student body. Originally, the department heads at UCLA were wary of this idea, but upon further investigation, soon realized that this is what their students wanted. There are food trucks on several college campuses within the US, all focused on a specific cuisine or food type. The responses to food trucks, particularly by the students, have been nothing but positive. The responses from the schools and the city themselves, have been hit or miss. This is largely due to the threat level that the food truck concept might have on local businesses and restaurants. Recently there has been a development in the mobile farmer’s market, specifically to meet the needs of food deserts that exist throughout the country. Mobile markets have been established in places such as Washington D.C. and San Francisco, aimed to provide access to neighborhoods that lack any sort of grocery store or fresh

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FOOD SERVICES The major food services utilized by colleges and universities are Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo.

FOOD TRUCKS Already established food trucks are a consistent competitor, especially ones making their way on college campuses.

MOBILE MARKETS Used to reach food deserts, mobile markets are popping up more and more as a grocery store on wheels, however, they do not serve prepared food items.

LOW-COST E S TA B L I S H M E N T S Establishments located on or around campus where students can buy convenient items for cheap. Items are usually unhealthy and lack nutrition.

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FA C E B O O K A social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.

TWITTER An online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters.

FOURSQUARE A location-based social networking website for mobile devices and users.

MARKETING

O P E R AT I N G P R O C E D U R E S

In this day in age, marketing is everything to a business, large or

UChews will seek to purchase a re-used food truck that will

small, especially in the social media realm. With Facebook, Four

be retrofitted with an updated kitchen as well as remodeling

Square, Twitter and Yelp, it’s vital for the success of a new business

it to fit the needs of the concept. On the front of the truck will

to participate and stay up-to-date on the current happenings and

be a produce section as well as a place for pre-packaged items

trends. Some of the hottest food truck businesses are successful in

such as homemade granola and popcorn that students can also

large part to staying up-to-date with social media. By fully utilizing

purchase. All three members of the team will assist in the overall

these networks they are able to reach a larger audience. Through

maintenance of the truck as well as the operations. In order to

research it has become evident that a major benefit of using these

figure out the ideal business model there will have to be trial and

networks is to share the location of the truck as well as keep

error but it is vital to have all hands on deck to learn the process

customers aware of any specials or deals that will be taking place.

together. Prior to opening, the team will go through extensive

It is a great marketing tool.

research to learn the ins and outs of running a successful food

UChews will utilize social media, especially since the audience it is targeting is amongst the largest users of such social networking tools. By sharing weekly menus, food specials, and location, UChews has a better chance of gaining loyal followers and keeping customers excited for more. UChews will also have website where customers can learn more about what's on the menu for the day and where the truck will be located throughout the week. There is also a DIY section for those interested in re-creating any of the items offered on the truck as well as learn more about simple and delicious ways to prepare wholesome foods.

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truck. Networks will be utilized in order to meet with current food truck owners to gain as much insight as possible.


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AUDIENCE

TEAM

PRIMARY

UChews will employ myself as well as two other employees, all who

The primary audience that UChews would like to reach is college students, specifically freshman that are new to the college experience and thus are the most impressionable. While college freshman are primary, the overall goal is to reach all college students. It is never too late to develop better eating habits and learn about new foods and how to prepare them. SECONDARY The secondary audience is the parents of college students. The UChews team would like to let parents know that they can play

have knowledge and experience within the food industry. There will be the cook on-board who prepares all of the prepared items. He has been in the restaurant industry for 15 years and has a lot of experience cooking wholesome healthy foods. There will also be a frontman who has experience both in the kitchen and front of the house to help keep customers happy. As for myself, I will assist with all of the above as well as keep tally of supplies and ingredients and help to maintain order and cleanliness. Despite having specific roles, everyone will play a part in the maintenance of the truck in order to keep everything up to code and running smoothly.

a part in the foods that their child is eating outside of the dining

Our booking and paperwork will be managed by my sister, Mary

hall. Parents will be able to purchase re-loadable value cards for

Shields, who has her CPA in Accounting. We have hired her to

their son or daughter. Without the ability to utilize dining hall meal

maintain and control all of our finances. To apply for government

points at this juncture, the concept of a re-loadable value card will

grants, we will hire Terri Dillon, a grant-writer with over 20 years

be provided as an experiment to see how well it is received. These

of experience who has has raised money for charities, not for

cards would be offered at the market as well as online where value

profits and other community enhancement groups.

can also be added to existing accounts. Definitely a great gift option. SECONDARY Last but not least, UChews has the ability to reach the general public. When not on campus, UChews can set up shop at local farmer's markets in Bloomington or drive a little farther to the Broad Ripple Farmer's Market in Indianapolis. This would be a great way to gain exposure and provide tasty nutritious food to people of all ages.

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FINANCES In order to get UChews up and running, we will apply for a series of grants and donations to assist in the purchasing of the food truck, commercial kitchen, supplies, ingredients, etc. Some of the major companies that provide grants are major grocery chains, the USDA, the individual college or university, major players in the food industry alone, seeking out ways to benefit society as well as health care companies searching for new ways to get their customers interested in taking better care of themselves. For ingredients, the plan is to seek out local farmers and local distributors willing to work with us on providing necessary ingredients needed for the truck on a daily basis. The ability to provide in-season produce will be considered but could potentially add to overall costs.

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S TA R T - U P C O S T S RETROFITTED MOBILE TRUCK

$30,000.00–$50,000.00

CUSTOM WRAP

$1,000.00

KITCHEN SUPPLIES _ UTENSILS

$3,000.00

UTILITIES _ GENERATOR _ REFRIGERATOR

$4,000.00

TRUCK INSURANCE _ TAXES

$2,500.00/YEAR

GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE

$3,500.00/YEAR

MAINTENANCE

$3,000.00

MOBILE FOOD VENDING UNIT PERMIT

$500.00/MONTH ($6,000.00/YEAR)

MOBILE VENDORS LICENSE

$103.00

PARKING

$2,000.00

STORAGE

$3,000.00

FUEL

$5,400.00

INGREDIENTS

$10,000.00

BRANDED PACKAGING

$1,000.00

MARKETING _ ADVERTISING

$6,000.00

EMPLOYEES _ BOOKKEEPING

$7,000.00 $96,600.00–$100,000.00

M O N T H LY C O S T S UTILITIES

$500.00

TRUCK INSURANCE _ TAXES

$150.00

MAINTENANCE

$250.00

MOBILE FOOD VENDING UNIT PERMIT

$2,400.00

PARKING

$160.00

STORAGE

$250.00

FUEL

$450.00

INGREDIENTS

$800.00

SUPPLIES _ UTENSILS

$75.00

MARKETING & ADVERTISING

$200.00

EMPLOYEES

$800.00

BRANDED PACKAGING

$500.00

OPERATIONAL EXPENSE

$300.00 $6,035.00–$7,000.00

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CO M P E T I T I V E A N A LY S I S In order to gain a well-rounded understanding of the current COMPETITIVE A N A LY S I S

marketplace, it is vital for any new company to do their research on

An exploration of the companies in a given industry or market niche that are competing with your company’s products for market share.

to the success of your company.

what is already out there. Knowing who your competitors are is vital

The competitive analysis for UChews takes a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of the current marketplace. Through the examination of top competitors, such as college food services and other food trucks, both UChews and investors can gain a better idea of where this concept fits as well as exactly what the strengths and weaknesses are of UChews and current competitors.

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DEFINING COMPETITORS UChews has a wide array of competitors that fall into two categories: PRIMARY The primary category consists of independent companies. This category includes existing food trucks, mobile food vendors as well as low-cost brick-and-mortar food establishments located close by. SECONDARY The secondary category consists of institutional establishments which include all dining services provided by the college or university. College dining services are either operated by the school or are contracted out to professional food management companies. Currently, there are three large contract companies: Aramark, Chartwells by Compass Group, and Sodexo as well as a multitude of smaller regional companies. Each company has their own set of strengths and weaknesses depending on where they place most of their time and energy when it comes to serving food to large crowds.

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COMPETITORS STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES A university or college food service is a service platform for the

When it comes to the food truck concept, the major competitors are

delivery of thousands of meals per day. There are students, faculty

other food trucks as well as mobile markets as well as outside fast

and staff, catering events, sports concessions, and sometimes

food establishments such as McDonald’s and convenient stores that

hotels that require meals at all times of day and night. The purpose

exist either on or around campus. The major strengths of outside

of the food services is to provide nutritious meals to a variety of

fast food establishments is their ability to provide cheap, quick and

individuals at a cost most can afford.

convenient food for their customers. McDonald’s specifically boasts

With large-scale dining services, it’s clear why they are successful in the realm of colleges and universities. They can provide a large amount of food for a lot of people. Supply meets demand. They are also able to provide a wide array of foods, creating a diverse menu for diverse taste buds. Some colleges and universities have also included national and regional franchise food chains such as Starbucks, McDonalds and Arby’s, to name a few. Schools that provide their own food services usually also have some sort of hospitality or restaurant school associated with them which allows for more student feedback. Large contract companies provide the management of the food, staff, and maintenance of the facilities. They are businesses for-profit and are responsible for working and negotiating the needs of the college or university. Part of the college dining experience includes the college meal plan which

their $.99 menu which allows a student to buy an entire meal for less than $3.00. The food truck phenomenon has not hit a lot of colleges and universities, yet, but it is definitely growing. UCLA is one of the first schools to allow foods trucks onto the property to sell to the students. School officials fought it for a long time until they realized that this is what students wanted. The strength of food trucks is that they’re not creating such vast amounts of food like they are in the dining hall, each order can be customized and is made on the spot. The quality of the food and services is much higher also due in large part to the truck’s need of a positive reputation to keep their clientele growing. Brick-and-mortar establishments are also jumping onto the food truck phenomenon, which is proving successful especially if the restaurant has already made a name for itself.

parents can purchase along with payment for tuition. College

The common weakness among competitors is the lack of healthy

meal plans were developed so that by feeding students in volume,

food being offered. Although food trucks are trying to make their

economies of scale would kick in and reduce the cost for everyone.

way onto campuses in some areas of the country, they are not doing

There is a reduction in packaging costs, transportation costs, and

college students any favors by providing bacon-wrapped hotdogs

labor costs. If one person does not eat as much as the next person,

and vegan ice cream. Despite the use of higher-quality ingredients,

they are still better off financially than making individual meals.

these foods are still not healthy. For the food truck concept in

The costs are spread across many thousands of students, resulting

general, the major weakness is the inability to get on the majority

in a budget-friendly food program for everyone.

of college campuses due to current restrictions and guidelines that

While food services do provide a wide array of food choices for the

have been put forth either by the city or the college.

students, the quality of the food is anything but stellar. Cafeteriastyle food is rarely successful unless a lot of time and money is put into place. The same is true for cafeteria-style restaurants, such as Shoney's and Golden Corral. Not the highest quality of food but it's cheap and it shows. In order for food services to keep costs down, they have to rely on lower quality foods, which is why most dining halls offer the usual pizza, hamburger, fries, iceberg lettuce salad bar, etc. There are some schools that employ high level food services that have successfully improved upon this concept, but it requires more money and more time than some schools are able to provide.

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UCHEWS STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES In order to encourage college students to eat better, UChews has made it their goal to provide healthy food that meets the needs of college students on-the-go. UChews' main strength is the ability to follow through with such a goal and provide students with access to healthy food that is affordable, convenient and palatable. By utilizing the mobile food truck concept, UChews can exist anywhere on campus in order to receive the most food traffic. By being on campus, ideally, close to school buildings, UChews can potentially be utilized by students in-between classes when they don’t have time to run all the way back to the dining hall or apartment, and the only other option is the fast food joint down the street. Rather than focusing on a unique cuisine or entree (like other successful food trucks), UChews focuses on making fresh produce accessible to college students on the go. Students can choose from a variety of fresh produce, minimally processed foods such as yogurt and hummus as well as whatever is being prepared that day which can range from roasted brussels sprouts to spinach salad to sweet potato fries. By showcasing the simplicity of such food prep, students can begin to learn and understand how tasty vegetables can be using minimal ingredients which is both cost-effective and less intimidating. By incorporating an educational aspect, this gives UChews an advantage in the realm of mobile food trucks. Weaknesses that exist with UChews deal with outside elements, specifically breaking through barriers put up by the schools themselves. Although food trucks have made their way onto a few campuses, it is not the norm for the majority of campuses throughout the US. Schools are still very apprehensive about letting outsiders in, especially when it could potentially create competition for on-campus options. Another weakness lies within the student’s overall interest in this concept, despite having access to fresh produce and freshly prepared dishes, would they even care? The success of this concept will depend a lot on the school it is being used in. There are schools that are taking initiative and bringing in higher-quality food services to provide better and more nutritious foods for their students. Most of these schools are in, what I would call a bubble, meaning that the focus on healthy eating also lives outside of the school, within the overall community. Examples of such places would be San Francisco, New York City, Portland and San Diego to name a few. For this reason, UChews is mainly focused on schools located in the midwest and the south where the prevalence of obesity-related issues are highest in the nation.

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CUSTOMER NEEDS & WANTS

BARRIERS TO ENTRY

The interviews with current college students provided a great deal

UChews faces several barriers to entry from the high start-up costs

of insight with regard to what it is college students want and need.

required to carry out such an undertaking to the saturation of the

It is clear that students are aware of the importance of eating right,

food truck market. The start-up costs are high due to the amount

the problem is the lack of access on or around campus.

of equipment that is required, from the commercial kitchen to the

Despite the desire to want to eat healthy, the majority of students that I spoke with had a go-to meal that was less than favorable nutritionally. From the frozen pizza bites to Domino's delivery,

supplies to the ingredients themselves, not to mention the truck that all of this is housed in. It is without a doubt an expensive endeavor but it remains cheaper than developing a restaurant.

the food options that they are turning to time and time again are

Another barrier to entry is the fact that this is a very saturated

unhealthy and will lead to problems down the road.

market. From reality TV shows to Food Truck Festivals, it is a trend

When asked about healthy food options, many of them were excited by the idea of having access to fresh food while on campus. The only demands were that it be wallet-friendly, convenient and tasty.

that is only growing stronger. As smaller cities are beginning to join in, it’s becoming a national phenomenon that everyone wants to be a part of. Due to it’s lower start-up costs, as opposed to a brick-andmortar, the mobile food truck has become a much more enticing business model for those wishing to start out in the food business. Other barriers that exist are the current restrictions and guidelines put forth by cities and colleges banning food trucks from certain areas. UCLA finally let food trucks onto their campus because they knew that the students wanted them. Other campuses following the trend as well are Brown, Western Michigan University, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, Rutgers, RIT, George Washington, North Carolina State and Columbia to name a few. All of these trucks specialize in a specific cuisine from vegan ice cream to lobster rolls drizzled in butter. Brick-and-mortar restaurants are starting to jump on the bandwagon as well by operating food trucks as extensions of successful restaurants.

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B U I L D I N G S T R AT E G I C P L A N S F O R MARKETING, EMPLOYMENT & LABOR In order to establish UChews within the marketplace, specific strategic planning will have to be put into action. When dealing with college students, it is crucial to note the importance of cost, convenience and speed at which products are available. If any of the three are not offered, the likelihood of grabbing the attention of a current college student decreases dramatically. When it comes to cost, the best strategy to deal with payments is through a reloadable value card. Students can purchase these cards online or on site. Parents can also purchase them as well as add value to them online. Students without value cards would be able to pay with a credit card or cash. This would in turn mean that I will have to create a merchant account in order to accept this type of payment, ideally through an independent sales organization or the bank in which I am currently a customer. Another idea would be to utilize Square for credit card payments that charges 2.75% per swipe versus potentially higher fees that banks could charge depending on what state we’re in. When it comes to the cost of the goods and services, UChews will be a non-profit business in order to ensure its focus on the societal issue at hand. This will also allow for UChews to be funded by either private or government grants. As for financing UChews, the goal is to look into grants from either nationwide groups or even from the individual college or university. Since this concept holds both an educational aspect as well as health benefit for the students, there’s good reason for health care companies or even the USDA to jump on board to promote such a worthy cause that will hopefully spread nationwide. Currently, health care companies such as Humana, provide health care plans geared towards those physically fit called SilverSneakers, which promotes healthy living. Humana would be a great resource for a grant or even as an investor on this project since it promotes a healthy lifestyle for potential future customers. The USDA currently provides several different types of grants for small businesses and efforts developed for health benefits. Another source for financial assistance could potentially come from local grocery chains or even local farmers looking for new ways to get their name out there to sell their produce. For example, the Safeway Foundation currently offers a variety of grants for non-profit organizations that strengthen the communities they serve. They consider applications in the following areas: Health and Human Services, Hunger Relief, Education, and Helping People with Disabilities.

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All of the marketing for UChews will be produced in-house. A definite advantage of having a designer build this concept, the packaging, the marketing material, the social networking will all be carried out in-house which will help save money. Printable material will be an added cost, but not having to out-source design projects and marketing will save the business quite a bit of money overall. Some extra expenses will be towards newspaper ads within the school newspaper, as well as ads placed on bulletin boards in the dormitories and possibly even with local food establishments. UChews will definitely utilize social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to provide up-to-date information on what is being served that week as well as location information. UChews will be a service provided during the school week, setting up shop in the middle of campus. Food will be prepped the night before in order to assure quick preparation day-of. The first batch of food will have to be prepared before opening in order to prevent any waiting time for students. Most of the food will be prepared on the spot, preparing a larger portion in the beginning to meet the potential demands of the first arrivals. This first batch will be warmed up in the oven just prior, but once out of the oven, the second batch will be put in. All packaged foods will be assembled on the weekends, including the cheese and crackers to assure freshness of ingredients. The team of UChews feels that this concept will be the most successful starting out at a large school like IU. With such a large campus and a need for access to healthier options, it is the most fitting for this concept. The question on whether or not UChews will turn into a franchise depends heavily on the success of this concept at IU. If successful, it would be great to franchise this concept to other schools around the country. Another way to go would be to do something similar to what other non-profit organizations across the country have already done. For example, the American Red Cross is a national organization that provides community enhancement services within their various chapters throughout the country. These chapters are locally run but are part of a larger whole. If UChews were to take on this concept, the original team would become the national headquarters with various chapters throughout the country. These chapters would utilize the same business plan and uphold the same ideals and overall mission, but would be managed by locals within that community.

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OUTLOOK OF CONCEPT W h a t d o e s t h e f u t u re l o o k l i k e ? Fra n c h i s e Po t e n t i a l Connect to Schools S t u d e n t In v o l v e m e n t

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GET STUDENTS I N V O LV E D Students could assist with overall truck operations or marketing in return for credit hours. This could provide students with handson experience as well as gain a more in-depth knowledge of how to eat.

WORK WITH COLLEGES Gain the support of college officials in order to have more access on campus as well as more opportunities for funding and grants from the school.

FRANCHISE Expand UChews to develop chapters on campuses around the country. Chapters will use established business plan. Menus may vary depending on geography and seasonality factors.

PROVIDE ACCESS ELSEWHERE When school is not in session, the idea of participating in food-related events is appealing, such as Farmer's Markets and Food Truck Festivals around the state. This will create more exposure and provide access to a wider demographic outside of the college world.

PROVIDE DELIVERY OPTIONS Provide a CSA-like service to student dorms on campus to provide additional access to wholesome food choices.

DEVELOP LIVE DEMOS Hire on more people to assist in live demos of simple food prep either by the truck or in a location provided by the college.

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THE FUTURE The future of UChews depends heavily on how well-received it is by both college students and college staff. If the concept were to move forward, there is potential for expansion throughout the country. The original UChews team will become the main headquarters with a variety of chapters located on college campuses around the country, utilizing the same business plan and striving for the same goals. If colleges and universities become supporters of this concept, there is potential to work closely with the schools to get more students involved to work on the truck itself, help to prepare food items, take nutrition classes or even be student ambassadors to spread the word. Creating a change takes a lot of support from a lot of people. If we can get as many people involved with this concept the better chance we have for success.

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REFERENCES Student Sources came from the following educational institutions:

University of Cincinnati

Indiana University

NW Missouri State

UC Davis

DePauw University

St. Mary’s University

5 Innovative Food Truck & Social Media Marketing Campaigns. mashable.com. n.d. Web. 21 July 2011. An Easy Spread. aneasyspread.com. n.d. Web. 08 December 2009. Breaking Into the Food Truck Industry. mobile-cuisine.com. n.d. Web. 14 October 2010. College Eating Habits are Clogged with Fat. usatoday.com. n.d. Web. 10 January 2002. College Students Get ‘F’ For Eating Habits. foodproductdesign.com. n.d. Web. 22 August 2011. Eating Habits During First Year of College Crucial. www2.jworld.com. n.d. Web. 4 October 2008. Fat Forecast: 42% of Americans Obese by 2030. abcnews.go.com. May 2012. Gapultos, Marvin. Interview with a Food Truck Owner. seriouseats.com. n.d. Web. 14 September 2010. G. C. Rampersaud, M. A. Pereira, B. L. Girard, J. Adams, and J. D. Metzl. Breakfast Habits, Nutritional Status, Body Weight, and Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 105 (2005):743-760. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed Healthy Eating Habits for College Students. livestrong.com. n.d. Web. 28 March 2011. How to Start a Mobile Food Business. entrepeneur.com. n.d. Web. 25 July 2011. How a College Food Service Works. Gluten Free College Student (GFCS). n.d. Web. 2011. Lagorio, Christine. How to Open a (Successful) Food Truck. 12 May 2010. Overweight and Obesity. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov. Web. August 2012. Prevalence of Obesity in the United States, 2009–2010. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov. Web. January 2012. Rethinking the Freshman 15. The Daily Beast. www.thedailybeast.com. Web. September 2009. Rodriguez, Judith. Diets of College Students. n.d. Web. 2011. Schlosser, Eric. Healthy College Food. squidoo.com. n.d. Web. 2011. Study: College Students Not Eating Enough Fruits And Veggies. www.oregonstate.edu. August 2011. Sodexo Quality of Daily Life Solutions. sodexo.com. n.d. Web. 2011. The National Association of College and Food Services. nacufs.org. n.d. Web. 2011. Top 10 Healthy Ways to Cook Fruits & Vegetables. fruitsandveggiesmorematter.org. n.d. Web. 2 November 2011.

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EMILY SHIELDS 312.450.5581 shields.emily@gmail.com www.emilyleeshields.com ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY 79 New Montgomery Street San Francisco CA 94105

TYPEFACES Ranger & DIN Pro PAPER Cougar PRINTER Graphic Imagery BINDER The Key Printing & Binding SOFTWARE InDesign / Photoshop / Illustrator

ŠEMILY SHIELDS No portion of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without the written consent of Emily Shields. All rights reserved.


People's eating habits need to change f irst. We will see change when we start buying real foods, real ingredients and preparing those foods ourselves. We can't count on the food industry to change things. We have to change f irst. —MICHAEL POLLAN

UChews  

MFA Graphic Design Thesis

UChews  

MFA Graphic Design Thesis

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