Client Success Story - Purdue University

Purdue promotes healthy eating with NetNutrition from CBORD

Purdue University
Founded in 1869, Purdue University is one of the nation’s leading research institutions, enrolling more than 38,000 students. With 9,500 students on meal plans, Purdue University Residences Dining Services serves 18–20,000 meals each day. In an effort to better educate its students on the nutritional value of the foods they eat, the university purchased NetNutrition® from CBORD®.

Nutritional Education

Campus dining is changing. On campuses where students once headed straight for the cheeseburgers, many are now crowding the salad bars instead. Healthy eating has become a major issue for college students, and Purdue University Residences is taking proactive steps to educate its community members on the impact of the dining choices they make.

"Dining services is more than just providing food to a captive audience of students," says Kathleen Manwaring, Assistant Director, Dining Services, Purdue University Residences. "We want to provide our students with diverse dining experiences, whether that means enjoying international cuisine, learning about portion sizes, or being exposed to fruits and vegetables they may never have tried before. Students want that variety."

Selecting a Nutrition Tool

Manwaring and her team began evaluating online nutritional services in 2004. They needed a replacement for the nutritional analysis documents they used to distribute to students from the homegrown dining software in use before converting to CBORD's Foodservice Suite®. Manwaring had three main objectives in mind during this search, all of which she found in NetNutrition:

  1. The solution must interface with University Residences Dining Services' current database.
  2. The solution must be web based to improve accessibility.
  3. The solution must enable students to analyze nutritional information for an entire day—not just one meal at a time—regardless of dining location.

Marketing: The Secret to Success

Manwaring immediately recognized the importance of marketing to ensure the success of NetNutrition. She brought together a team of employees from University Residences Dining Services, Computing, and Marketing, along with students and Resident Assistants, to help determine the site's design. The web page came online in March 2007 to alert current and incoming students to the service coming soon. The marketing campaign kicked off in September 2007 with

  • Launch events in dining halls to educate students on the new offering
  • Advertisements on university TV stations
  • Table tents
  • Sneeze guard cards
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Increased promotion during National Nutrition Month (March)

Successful Rollout

Purdue's NetNutrition site was accessed by 350 students the day it was launched. The following two months saw 15,000 and 13,000 hits, respectively. Manwaring was pleased with the ease with which students used the site right away.

"The first week we rolled out NetNutrition, we discovered students required very little assistance in using the site," reports Manwaring. "They were excited about putting their meals together online, and had very few questions."