Resealable Mountain Dew cans and cauliflower crust pizza are just a few of the incoming innovations UR students had the opportunity to test out this past Wednesday at the Dining Vendor Fair.
A collaboration between Dining Services and Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA), the fair, held in Hirst Lounge, kicked off the “Welcome Back” programming for the Spring — a week and a half of free food and giveaways organised by WCSA.
“Together we try and encourage students to test new products […] and give people a fun event to do when you just come back,” said Assistant Director of Student Life Operations Ken Beck.
Frito Lay brought packs of white cheddar Poppables, not yet in stores, to share with UR students.
Pepsi tried out new flavors of its Bubly sparkling water, and Rich’s served slices of a vegan cauliflower crust pizza, which the Pit will begin offering in fall 2019 according to Rich’s broker Kim Eisenberger.
Although held on the first day of classes, the event was lively and highly attended. A mere 20 minutes after the tables were set up, students and staff began to swarm.
“I’m excited that we have this many people this early,” Beck said. “It’s a good feeling.”
The food was not the only attraction for students — the WCSA encouraged students to go to each vendor’s table in order to get tickets for a raffle. Stakes were high for the prizes, which included a pair of Beats headphones, bluetooth speakers, and a gleaming white Mountain Dew bike.
One well-trafficked vendor table was Cheesy Eddie’s which came with samples of their cheese and carrot cakes, “made the way you would make them at home but with better ingredients,” according to store owner Colleen Baker.
Like many vendors, Cheesy Eddie’s was not introducing new products, but came to the fair to support Dining Services in light of their longtime partnership.
“It’s just to say thank you,” Donut Delite owner Nick Seneraro explained, as his team handed out glazed donuts. “It’s important. That’s why we do this.”