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    It’s safe to say the rise in the cost of living has bitten a sizeable chunk out of students’ food and drink budget. 

    Student food bills have increased by £591 since 2021, and food inflation was measured at a whopping 19.2% in March 2023—the highest level since August 1977. Yikes. 

    Some not-so-tasty stats for you:

    • Student weekly spend on dining at home has increased by £291 per year, costing students an extra £7.51 per week.
    • Student weekly spend on dining out has also increased by £200 per year, costing students an extra £3.85 per week.
    Time for a palate cleanser. Despite the hit to their bank account, nothing can stand between a hungry student and a tasty treat. Students are still indulging in food and drink, with 59% tucking into fast food or takeaways at least every fortnight, and 1 in 4 grabbing coffee or lunch on-the-go at least 2-3 times every week. 

    For brands willing to feed into students’ love for all things delicious, there’s a huge revenue opportunity to bite into—if the price is right. Here’s where UNiDAYS can help you turn famine into feast.

    Supermarket savings

    With a huge 94% dining at home every week, students love to tuck in from the comfort of their own sofa after a long day (or night) out. On average, students typically spend around £42 per week on their grocery haul—and they’re scouring the shelves for deals, with more than half switching to supermarket’s own brand products to conserve cash.

    80% of this spend-savvy demographic are overwhelmingly led by their bank accounts when it comes to their grocery go-to. In fact, in recent polls conducted on UNiDAYS, our student members opted overwhelmingly for Tesco as their favourite supermarket, whilst Lidl and Aldi were neck and neck with an average of 22%  and 23% of students voting them as their go-to. 2 in 3 students also told us that they would said they’d change supermarkets if offered a bigger discount: so there’s a tasty opportunity to capture market share with head-turning incentives that are too mouth-watering to miss. 

    Pairing a generous discount programme with strategic, student-heavy brick-and-mortar locations is the perfect way to secure long-term customer growth with Gen Z. 

    Dine-out deals

    In the last two years, the spending gap between dining in and eating out has shrunk— so with less financial incentive to eat at home, students can more easily be tempted to opt for a bougie burger over a microwave meal. 

    After a long day of lectures, 64% of students dine on evening eats like fast food, takeaways and restaurant meals at least once a fortnight. Gen Z also love grabbing their oat chai or matcha latte on-the-go, with 58% splurging on breakfast, lunch and coffee at least once a week. In fact, Starbucks reigned over their competitors in our favourite coffee polls; 1 in 3 voted Starbucks as their favourites, whilst Costa came a close second, with 29% of students opting to grab their coffee fix there. Meanwhile, Caffé Nero and Pret were only picked by 9% and 8% of students respectively. 

    For student-savvy businesses ready to tap into this hungry demographic, there’s one key way to win their hearts (and stomachs): delicious discounts. Gen Z are always on the hunt for the best bang for their buck, so repeat offers and loyalty programmes at student-friendly locations are crucial. 

    Hungry for help?

    With 1248 brand engagements every hour and 1400+ orders every day, UNiDAYS are number one in students’ eyes (and stomachs). Don’t miss out: connect with 29m+ verified members now with the help of our student-savvy experts here at UNiDAYS.

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