“It’s about understanding the operator, who they are why they are, how long they’ve been around and what the size is,” Brad Bloom, director of sales at CHD Expert, told FoodNavigator-USA. The firm maintains a database of 109,000 K-12 schools, 4,800 universities, and more than 13,000 school districts through the US. “Enrollment is also big, because that has an impact on the amount of meals served per day.”
The primary school segment accounts for approximately 74% (or 80,700) of the total K-12 market, with secondary schools making up the remaining 26%. (The CHD Expert database defines primary schools as kindergarten-6th grade and secondary schools as 7th-12th grade.) Public schools dominate the primary and secondary schools landscape, accounting for approximately 81% of all K-12 institutions, according to the data.
Roughly 62,100 (77%) of primary schools are public or government operated, while 15% are private, and 7% are categorized as religious. Of the estimated 28,300 CHD Expert-documented secondary schools, 93% (26,400) are public, meaning public primary schools constitute a major potential market for school foodservice providers.