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Chartwells Targets Freshers’ Week with Vibrant Food and Mood Campaign


Chartwells, the leading provider of catering and support services to schools, colleges and universities in the UK, has gone above and beyond to develop a colourful and innovative food campaign, in response to insight* that students form their eating and drinking habits within the first key weeks of being at university. The campaign launched during freshers’ week will include visual metaphors that represent different moods linked to a relevant and enticing food offer in an engaging way.

Chartwells has spent the last six months developing a forward-thinking food offer designed to reach approximately 60,000 students across its rich university portfolio. It has identified nine different moods university students are thought to experience day to day. From this the food development and nutrition teams have developed food offers and promotions within university outlets to complement and attract students, with a long-term view of creating an association between that mood and where or what they ate to encourage customer loyalty.

The campaign includes highly engaging and tactical forms of communications to raise awareness of outlets around campus. Students can interact with fun and vibrant ‘Peel Off Posters’ and ‘Pick–Me-Card’ hanging tree tickets placed around campus. Each individual ticket is branded with one of the nine identified moods. The nine moods identified; Health Kick, More the Merrier, All in, Big Night Out, Treat Yourself, Pick-me-up, Rocket Fuel, Feelin’ Thirsty and Feeling Bold underpin this campaign. For example, if the student is ‘Feeling Bold’ and wants to try something new, they can enter the promo code from the peel off ticket into Yoyo, a student loyalty app used on campus and purchase a half price, new to menu, vegan sausage roll at one of the outlets on site. Alternatively, if they are looking to involve their new friends or flatmates, they can redeem the ‘All in’ code and receive four half price pizza vouchers to share out.

Matt Brown, Managing Director, Chartwells Independent and Higher Education explains: “Freshers’ week is one of the busiest weeks on the student calendar. Going to university is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, so we thought by creating a fun and engaging campaign that tapped into the different elements of student life, we could bring some additional enjoyment to students in their first weeks, as they settle in. It’s a great way to let students know about the food offer available to them, while also creating collaborative experiences."

There are various other activities supporting this campaign during Freshers’ week which include commercial giveaways such as scratch cards and Yoyo rewards.


*Surveyed over 1000 respondents nationally, using both quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews.

Freshers' Week Posters