NC State Dining Looks to Expand Plant Based Options on Campus By Hosting Vegan Cookie Sampling Event

By Olivia Chadwick

As more and more Americans adopt a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet, food establishments nationwide must adapt to the changing dietary pattern by providing more plant-based options. NC State University has recognized the steadily rising “plant-forward” student population; that is, those who are adding more plants into their diets and reducing consumption of meat and/or animal products. With hundreds of students with meal plans identifying as vegan or vegetarian, Dining is looking to expand the plentiful plant-based options even further, with the potential addition of vegan cookies in retail and/or grab and go.

The vegan cookie tasting consisted of four cookie flavors, all provided by Rich’s foods. Students were invited to stop by the table and sample the cookies from 2:00-4: 00 pm on April 23rd in Fountain Dining Hall. Flavors consisted of peanut butter, Ranger, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip- all made without dairy or eggs. The two-hour sampling window brought in over 65 interested students who were thrilled with the idea of a consistent vegan cookie option on campus. Many Plant Fueled Pack members attended the sampling event to provide insightful feedback on the product(s). The Plant Fueled Pack began this semester as a way for vegan and vegetarian students to serve on an advisory committee and provide NC State Dining with comments, suggestions, audits, and feedback on potential products. Overall, the vegan cookie tasting was a huge success and NC State plans to package them for retail in the coming months.