School Nutrition Trends and Market Research


What is the average length of a school lunch period? How many school districts menu whole grain items? What is the median salary for a salary for a school nutrition director? These and many more questions can be answered through SNA’s extensive trend and market research.

Research Reports and Studies  (Available in the Bookstore)

  • Operations Survey Report Programs, nutrition policies, customer service, marketing, budgeting and staffing.
  • ANC Trends Report Annual trends in school nutrition policies, popular food items, available vending beverage items, funding cutbacks, outlook on future funding, and efforts made to improve healthy food availability.
  • SNA's trendSETS newsletter is beginning a quarterly e-newsletter that provides in-depth insights on the hot topics in school nutrition. The newsletter's in-sights are based on information collected by SNA's trendsetter panel of school nutrition directors.
  • Compensation and Benefits Report School nutrition compensation and benefits information.
  • 2004 School Fruit and Vegetable Procurement Study Fruit and vegetable procurement in the open market vs the commodity program, participation in the DOD Fresh program, and much more. [Download free (in Adobe Acrobat format)]
  • 2004 After School Snack Report Administrative practices of After School Snack Programs, most common snacks offered, the frequency of dairy food offerings and much more. [Download free (in Adobe Acrobat format)]
  • A la Carte and Vending Study Size, scope, and attitudinal factors influencing the market of the à la carte and vending machine programs.

SNA Peer-reviewed Research

  • Journal of Child Nutrition and Management is the premier peer-reviewed school nutrition journal. The Journal features the latest research information on current issues impacting child nutrition and school foodservice operations. Each issue is published quarterly.

Child Nutrition Showcase

Each year at the Annual National Conference, child nutrition research projects are presented in poster session format at the CN Showcase. Projects feature best practices in marketing and customer service, nutrition education, training and staff development, innovative ideas and practices, and research related to child nutrition programs. School foodservice professionals including, directors, managers, college students, researchers, and others are welcome to submit abstracts for the ANC Showcase. 2008 Child Nutrition Showcase 

Research Partnership

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) plays an integral role in School Nutrition Association research. SNF advances the study of child nutrition and school foodservice by supporting and funding Association research initiatives. SNF, SNA’s sister organization, provides funding and support for a variety of Association research projects.

The majority of SNA research is conducted with our members who are foodservice directors. SNA thanks those for volunteering their time and effort to provide valuable information that will help shape the future of school nutrition.

how to Access SNA Research

  • Most SNA research reports are available for purchase through the Bookstore. Members receive a discounted price.
  • On occasion, some research reports are available at no cost and are free to download.
  • The Journal of Child Nutrition and Management is available free to members and is also available for purchase by non-members.


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