Whilst Purdue boasts a multitude of dining choices, few cater to those with specific dietary needs such as lactose intolerance, or to those who choose to follow a plant-based diet. The new vegan froyo machine, according to co-founder Marek Davis, will improve inclusivity.
Speaking to local news source WLFI News 18, Davis said, “We’ve done some research that shows a vast majority of the international students have some sort of dairy-related intolerance… the current products that we provide in our convenience stores don’t cater to them.”
Co-founder Henry Berkemeier added that the machine will give students the opportunity to explore a new, healthier product. “It’s… the latest health trend,” he explained. “You know if you can eliminate dairy, there are lots of benefits.”
The vegan froyo machine also accommodates for tight student budgets. Rather than relying on a traditional weigh-and-pay system, customers will select a small or large cup and pay for this size – even if the large cup is brimming full of toppings. Students will be charged $4 for a small cup and $6 for a large.
The sweet-toothed creators behind the project are students at Purdue. The university has established a reputation as a respected center of advanced learning, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The students, now seniors, have been working on the project since their freshman year, and it is almost ready to take on the campus dining hall.
Berkemeier said, “We’re… hopeful. We’ve done our research and we’re excited to bring this to campus.”
Across the U.S., more and more students are seeking vegan food choices. One recent study revealed that 65 percent of Gen-Zers are eager to focus on consuming “plant-forward” foods in their diet. The research prompted leading university foodservice provider Aramark to introduce more vegan options, such as the Beyond Burger, to a plethora of public and corporate cafeterias nationwide.
The Fro-Yo Xpress machine will be installed later this fall at the 3rd Street Market on campus.
Image credit: Purdue University