Cuisine neutral menu items account for 43% of all items on K-12 menus. Cuisine neutral items include milk, juice, rice, bananas, oranges and others. For menu items where it is possible to determine an ethnic or regional cuisine, 19% of items may be classified as American Traditional. Items classified as American Traditional include macaroni & cheese, meatloaf, pot pies, burgers, sloppy Joe’s and many more.
Among 30 other cuisines on school menus, the leading one is Southern cuisine, which accounts for 8% of items. Mexican and Italian cuisine each has an approximate 7% share of menu items. School menus are ethnically diverse. The average district serves food from 14 ethnic and regional cuisines. The source for this information is the FlavorTrak K-12 Database of menus from 175 school districts.
Menu Item Component
Cuisine of Item
Burlington School District
Cheesy Ukrainian Chicken on Garlic Bun WG
District of Columbia Public Schools
Chicken Souvlaki on Flatbread
Pinellas County Schools
Creole Turkey Sausage and Ham w/ Rice and Beans
Orange County Public Schools
Cuban Pork Rice Bowl
Collier County Public Schools
Cucumber Coins with Tajin
Cleveland Metropolitan SD
Egg and Cheese Bacon Kolache
General Tso Popcorn Chicken
Albany City School District
Halal Chicken Patty on Whole Grain
Dearborn City School District
Halal (Islamic Allowed/Prep.)
Alpine School District
Hunan Chicken with Rice
Wake County Public School System
Hungarian Cuke Salad
Adams-Arapahoe (Aurora) 12 Five Star
Jamaican Jerk Shrimp
Tucson Unified District
Japanese Cherry Blossom Chicken
Prince George's County Public Schools
Peruvian Chicken Wrap
Gwinnet County Public Schools
Pork Egg Roll with Thai Chili Sauce
Cherry Creek School District
Sausage Kolache on Whole Wheat
Brownsville Independent School District
Anchorage School District
Riverside United SD
Swedish Meatballs w/ Noodles
Minneaplois Public SD
Sweet Thai Chili Chicken over Rice
Syracuse City School District
Tandoori Chicken w/ Rice Curry
Jefferson County Public Schools (KY)
NYC Department of Education
Cuisines found on school menus include: Jamaican, Moroccan, Peruvian, Cuban, Thai, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Hunan, Hungarian and more. Ethnically diverse menu items come from all school districts and all states. In some cases, ethnic cuisine favorites are added to menus to mirror local preferences. The main goals, however, are to provide a variety of flavors, increase student interest and get kids to eat more.
Schools in Oklahoma City feature an Egg and Cheese Bacon Kolache. A little further southwest in Tucson spicy fare may be sampled with Jamaican Jerk Shrimp. Minneapolis Public SD is a good place to savor Swedish Meatballs with Noodles. Anchorage Alaska is inclined to offer Scandinavian Veggies.
In the northeast, Beef Goulash is popular in Burlington Vermont as is General Tso Popcorn Chicken in Albany New York. Sweet Thai Chicken Over Rice is on the menu in Syracuse and Halal Chicken Patty on Whole Grain in Dearborn Michigan. Pinellas County Schools in Florida present Chicken Souvlaki on Flatbread and DC schools offer Cheesy Ukrainian Chicken on a Garlic Bun.
FlavorTrak K-12 Menu Reports provide insight for culinary product development, marketing and sales promotion teams. For more information, please contact Larry Atseff or Joe Brady at 708-386-7579.
About FlavorTrak K-12 Menus
Foodservice Research Institute specializes in collecting information from commercial and non commercial operators. We created FlavorTrak K-12 Menus to assist your targeted research efforts by quantifying category usage levels. Our experience with the MenuMine menu information database has been used to create a service with an exclusive focus on the school foodservice segment.