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Survey benchmarks university catering performance

30 June 2017

Average prices for food and drink from high street outlets have shown a widening gap between the cost of comparable products on university campuses, according to a recent study.

Conducted in partnership by The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and Litmus, the latest benchmarking study shows increased prices within high street outlets and reduced costs within university campuses.

Prices rose by nearly 49% in high street shops, while equivalent costs in university shops reduced by just over 4%.

Increases in cost of 17.6% were recorded by high street cafes, compared to a rise of 7% on campuses.

While a regular cappuccino would cost £2.20 from high street outlets, this would cost less than £2 when purchased at a university, the study revealed.

Further disparity was recorded for bottled water, which an be purchased for less than £1 from universities, compared to an average of £1.59 on the high street.

The survey also looked at cost differences between universities in the North and South, revealing that significantly higher prices were paid for a glass of house white wine or pre-boxed salads by southerners, with northerners having to pay more for bacon rolls and energy drinks.

TUCO chief executive officer Mike Haslin said the benchmarking exercise was essential for members to "ensure their offer remains attractive to students and encourages them to stay on-site".

"By conducting our annual research, we are able to keep our members informed of price movements between universities and the high street and support university caterers in providing true value to their students," he said.

The full survey can be downloaded here.

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