It’s the start of a new semester and the newest freshman at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA is Pepsi’s new Snackbot. Developed in partnership with Robby Technologies, these self-driving robots will make snacks and beverages available to college students (and presumably staff!). Pepsi envisions this new channel of distribution as a way of capitalizing on changes in student dining as packed schedules push students to quick, on-the-go options. You can read more about this new project in Pepsi’s press release.
All goods and services providers have to evaluate the external market environment and adjust their strategy accordingly if they want to be successful. That applies to colleges and universities and even departments within those institutions as well. The USA Today recently published an article that talks about changes Syracuse University’s dining halls are making to adapt to changes in student preferences
and dietary requirements. Offering gluten-free and vegan options, providing a healthier menu, and customizable dishes are a few of the ways dining halls across the nation are adapting to the market. According to the article, one out of three Americans follows a specific lifestyle diet so learning how to adapt is critical for dining halls if they want to compete with off-campus dining options.