San Antonio College Students Boost Moods with Dairy Cart

Man eating smoothie.

Dairy improved mooods at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) this fall as Dairy MAX worked with UTSA Dining to roll out a Moood Snack Cart.

With the goal of increasing dairy consumption among Gen Z in university settings, the Moood Snack Cart brings dairy-based drinks and snacks to students in UTSA’s Roadrunner Cafe between mealtimes. The cart showcases the benefits of dairy for energy, mood, digestive health and immunity.

“[The Moood Snack Cart] is great to show [students] that there are different options for dairy,” said Christine Sprehe, UTSA Dining’s registered dietitian. “You can incorporate it into a dessert, a grilled cheese or a yogurt parfait.”

Sprehe added that milk, yogurt and cheese can improve overall health and keep people feeling calm, which can be especially important in a university setting.

Further, the Moood Snack Cart launch event tackled questions about dairy’s environmental sustainability. Dairy MAX provided virtual reality headsets to take students directly to the farm to learn more about how dairy farm families care for the planet, people and their cows. Specifically, students learned that 95% of dairy farms are family owned, and that dairy farming only contributes 2% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

“We’re showing students dairy’s sustainable practices through the Moood Snack Cart,” said Wendi Brown, health and wellness director at Dairy MAX. “Everyone can start understanding how dairy farm families care for and protect our environment – ultimately, that they can enjoy dairy’s nutrition benefits and feel good about it.”

The snack cart isn’t only an activation to promote the benefits of dairy – it also has operational incentives for dining halls. During a pilot program, the cart – which runs once a week October through May – helped alleviate demands on UTSA’s kitchen during slower dining periods.

“The Moood Snack Cart is a phenomenal opportunity to help bring awareness to the importance of dairy in everyone’s diet,” said Jacob Citron, UTSA food services director. “From an operational standpoint, it allows us to bring in another option to our dining facility that doesn’t necessarily require extra labor or extra cost.”

Dairy MAX and UTSA plan to take the partnership further by creating a sustainable nutrition class.

“The next step in our partnership with UTSA is a sustainable nutrition class where students can learn about the farm-to-table story and sustainable nutrition practices within our food system,” Brown said. “Dairy really plays into that because of its nutrition, availability and sustainable story.”

Together, Dairy MAX and UTSA are ensuring Gen Z perform their best in the classroom through illustrating dairy’s nutrition and environmental benefits.