Hello, My Name Is: YUMMY!

What is in a name? Product marketers will tell you – A WHOLE LOT! Product names are designed to be eye-catching and enticing for customers to purchase. Jazz up your menu with fun, tasty ways to describe fruits, vegetables, and entrées.

Take a look at the food items below:

Chicken Salad         Fiesta Chicken Salad

Green Beans            Garden Fresh Green Beans

Potato Soup             Creamy Harvest Potato Soup

Which items are you more likely to try – the ones on the left or the right? Why are these items more appealing?

The names on the right are detailed and descriptive. They provide a mental image and taste of the food item. When you think of fiesta chicken salad, what comes to mind?  A mixture of spices, a party, excitement, tasty…

Here are few ideas to keep in mind when creating food names for your cafeteria:

Creating a Name


  1. Food Properties: Use words associated with properties of the item – sizzling, rich, juicy. Descriptive, sophisticated names are better suited for middle school and high school students.
  1. Imaginative/Playful: Use fun or silly words to grab the attention of younger kids – black belt, lean mean, super star. These descriptions are appropriate for elementary school students.
  1. School Branding: Create names associated with the school colors or mascot – Monarch bowl, Panther pizza, Wildcat burger. Branding your cafeteria creates a community feel. This technique can be used for all age groups.

Once your team has decided on new, exciting names incorporate them into the lunch menu. Prime students by creating signs, posters and decals. Routinely rotate food item names to maintain student interest.

For more ideas, check out the Food Naming Word Bank under the Resources tab above.

Key to Naming

Get students involved in the naming process! Creating a buzz around a new food item will peak interest and increase desire to try the item. Here are a few ways you can get your students involved:

  1. Hold a contest. Choose a specific food item and have students come up with their own ideas.
  1. Student vote. After collecting all the names, allow students to vote on which ones they like best.

Engaging students in the naming process will allow them to take ownership. Kids will be more likely to try a food item if they are involved in the naming process.

Creating fun, exciting names is an easy change to make. By simply altering the perspective of food items, you will notice an increase in selection and participation!

Share Your Ideas!

What are some fun descriptive names that you use in your cafeteria? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below!

Don’t Forget to…SHOW US YOUR APPLES!

REMEMBER, the basket challenge is going on now. ALL contest entries will receive a prize! Click HERE for contest details and how you can enter your award winning basket!

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