Chicago, IL  (Food News)  The new USDA standards regulating what foods are served to the nation’s schools will result in gaps not being filled, according to a new study by foodservice consultants Technomic, Inc., in collaboration with Aurora Insights. The standards focus specifically on increasing emphasis on sodium and calorie reduction, and more whole grains. School foodservice directors are searching for better food options in these areas, while also considering the preferences of their very picky eaters.

“School foodservice directors have a very tough job. They have to meet these tougher standards, but in a way that will maintain reimbursable meal participation rates,” says Joe Pawlak, Technomic Vice President. “Today’s lower sodium and whole grain options are often rejected by students.  Schools need manufacturers to innovate in these areas, offering more better-for-you foods that students will accept.”

In addition to the new regulations, the K-12 segment is challenged by increasing special diet requirements. “Reflecting the general population, diet homogeneity does not exist in school cafeterias,” says Sheri Petrich, President of Aurora Insights. “Foodservice directors plan multiple menus every day to meet special cultural and medical-related diets. Gluten-free diets are one of the fastest growing diets and one of the most challenging to menu.”

These and other issues are examined in the research, entitled The K-12 Foodservice Segment:  Navigating through a Segment Facing Significant Change. Food manufacturers gain insights into changing market dynamics and specific opportunities for their product mix. For more information on this study, contact Joe Pawlak at 312-506-3940 or

About Technomic
Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.

About Aurora Insights
Aurora Insights is a consulting firm specializing in the K-12 and College & University food service segments with an emphasis on K-12 regulations. Its services include customized research, strategic development, informational presentations and other segment-related consultative services.

Press Contact: Chris Urban, 312-506-3929 or

Subscribe to our RSS feed!