Back to School: from Kindergarten to Universities, Get a Taste of the 2016 Foodservice Industry Across Our Nation's Learning Institutions

CHD Expert evaluates the education foodservice landscape of the USA to provide insights into different school types and allow providers to target specific segments.

Chicago, IL, August 31, 2016 --( It's back to school time, and while teachers and students gear up for in-class learning, foodservice directors and cafeteria faculty members are completing their own preparations to feed millions of children each day.

As the 2016 school year begins, CHD Expert, the Chicago-based foodservice database and analytics firm, has released the latest data surrounding the education foodservice industry landscape in the United States, from Kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) as well as Colleges and Universities (C & U).

According to CHD Expert's data, as of August 2016, there are more than 121,500 K-12 schools, 9,100 universities, and over 13,000 school districts throughout the United States.

Primary schools, which are classified as educational facilities typically encompassing ages 6-13, are the most prevalent school type in the USA, making up about 79 percent of the total K-12 landscape. Approximately 96 percent of these schools have enrollments that are less than 1,000 children. Among secondary schools, educational facilities typically encompassing ages 14-18, there are more than 26,000 schools across the nation, with 72 percent of these with less than 1,000 students enrolled.

Public schools dominate the primary and secondary school landscape, accounting for 80 percent of primary schools and 95 percent of secondary schools. Secondary schools also tend to outnumber primary schools when considering enrollments of more than 1,000 students.

Further considering ownership, 13 percent of primary schools are private while the remaining 7 percent are categorized as religious. Regarding secondary schools, just 2 percent are classified as private and 3 percent are religious.

Another important consideration for foodservice providers is participation in the Free and Reduced Lunches program. More than 224 billion lunches have been served since the modern program began and most of the support provided to schools in the program comes in the form of a cash reimbursement per each meal, according to the USDA.

By understanding the concentration of participation in the National School Lunch Program for each K-12 school and district, foodservice providers are better able to strategize and manage their sales and marketing campaigns within the education industry. According to CHD Expert's data, there are approximately 4,300 school districts in the U.S. that have more than 500 students on the Free and Reduced Lunch program.

CHD Expert's data also indicates that the five states that provide the most Free and Reduced Lunches as a percentage of total students served are California (9.70%), Texas (8.58%), New York (5.13%), Illinois (4.64%), and Florida (4.54%).

Foodservice providers searching for new opportunities in the education industry should consider the metric of meals served per day. According to CHD Expert's data, 38 percent of school districts in the United States serve 2,000 and more meals per day. Colleges and Universities are also target-rich environments when considering this metric, as 43 percent of C&U 2-year and 41 percent of C&U 4-year institutions serve 2,000 and more meals per day.

According to CHD Expert's data, there are more than 9,100 universities in the USA, with 38 percent being four-year institutions, 51 percent classified as two-year institutions, and 8 percent are technical and trade schools. Interestingly, there are more private 4-year universities than public, as 72 percent of 4-year universities are privately owned. The trend is similar in 2-year universities, with 65 percent being private. Religious ownership is more prevalent among technical and trade schools, at 30 percent.

When selecting foodservice products and services for their schools, faculty and staff must take certain considerations into account (such as enrollment and ownership) and they also use specific criteria to choose vendors to meet their needs. Similarly, foodservice providers will have different requirements and strategies when selling to a public institution versus private, and must approach each opportunity with a unique strategy.

Understanding the education foodservice landscape is critical for making informed strategy decisions.

"Having accurate and comprehensive industry data is crucial for foodservice providers intent on penetrating the education market," said Catherine Kearns, General Manager at CHD Expert The Americas. "There are many variables a company must consider before entering education foodservice, including government-supported budgets, public versus private, and enrollment numbers, among others. Having access to CHD Expert's data allows foodservice providers to gain a deeper knowledge of the foodservice landscape in the nation's schools as well as give them the intelligence they need to create more effective sales programs."

CHD Expert evaluated the most recent data within its foodservice database and packaged the most interesting facts and figures into an infographic designed to help foodservice industry professionals better understand the education foodservice landscape.

To access the 2016 Education Foodservice Industry Infographic in its entirety, please visit:

To obtain detailed information on the foodservice industry landscape in the United States, or foodservice data in general, please contact Brad Bloom:

About CHD North America

For 20 years, CHD Expert has been the global leader in collecting, managing, and analyzing data for the Away-From-Home Foodservice Market. With over 5 Million operator records across 50 countries, CHD Expert helps organizations understand the foodservice industry landscape and leverage data to drive revenue.

Our service offerings range from providing raw data to turn key solutions, including: data records and analysis via attribute and segmentation filter combinations; call center solutions for foodservice market research, lead generation and appointment setting; email and direct mail campaigns, ad hoc reports on any foodservice region or segment, access to foodservice supply chain members from manufacturers to end users.

For additional information, please visit or call 1-888-243-0154.
CHD Expert
Brandon Gerson
(702) 580 3493