Compass India’s new food solution reimagines school cafeteria

Mar 8, 2023 | In the news

Coverage in: Adgully

Compass India Food Services Private Limited (“Compass India”), a leading provider of food solutions globally, is redefining school cafeterias with a revolutionary, nutrition-first solution for the K-12 segment. The reimagined food solution, designed for students, has three key aspects –

  1. Focus on food nutrition with an in-depth understanding of their emotional, functional and social needs at school.
  2. Creating ‘happy’ food experiences by looking at and designing food through a child’s lens.
  3. Building a lasting habit of healthy eating through experiential learning and engagement.

According to an annual survey conducted by Univariety1, the education sector in India has undergone a massive change, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. We are starting to see a heightened focus on emotional and mental health and an emphasis on overall wellbeing. Parent expectations for their child’s development and learning has soared and millennial parents today expect schools to take a holistic learning approach. Compass India’s newly launched Chartwells food solution will help Indian K-12 schools in that journey with a comprehensive approach that will create a new, strong relationship between children and heathy food.

Commenting on the initiative, Paramita Bagchi, CFO and MD Designate at Compass India says, “As a leader in the food space, Compass India has in-depth understanding of how food plays a pivotal role in addressing a child’s emotional, social and functional needs. Unfortunately, the connection between food and children today is broken. The current reality is that most food innovations focus on adult food, designed with their needs in mind. Chartwells India’s unique food solution has been developed from a child’s lens and is focussed on the concept of ‘invisible health’. We believe that the right kind of school food can enhance learning capacity and directly impact the child’s health, well-being, and future. As a parent, I am delighted to be a part of this initiative”.

Studies across the world have established that nutrition is an integral part of a child’s mental and physical growth and development. Today, India has the second highest number2 of obese children in the world, indicating that home is no longer a site for food education. With the concept of ‘outsourced parenting’ and easy access to junk and processed food, the problem today is of ‘mis-nourishment’. Compass India’s food solution is powered by Chartwells Proprietary Nutritional Guidance Platform that has a comprehensive taxonomy of macro, micro nutrition data and allergens for all ingredients by dish and menu. This scientifically designed food solution has been developed with an in-depth understanding of students’ unique nutritional, developmental, emotional and social needs.

As part of its experiential learning program, Chartwells India expands the food exposure of children through new immersive experiences like Teaching Kitchen, Farm to School program, and Food Club. These offer a platform for students to explore food & nutrition knowledge and connect to the concept of ‘eating right’ while encouraging palate development and appreciation for healthy food. It offers the goodness of traditional Indian digestive sciences inculcated as part of the menu design. It also aims to instil a passion for cooking among children of all genders from an early age.

Pariksha Rao, Compass India’s partner nutritionist commented, “Children are social eaters. It is extremely important to leverage the formula of stealth health within the K-12 segment. This project is a result of continuous culinary innovation at the Compass Innovation Kitchen, where food is prepared using healthier ingredients, techniques, and processes that work in the background without compromising on taste and flavour. The Chartwells solution aims to positively impact children’s lives, educate them to understand food and the importance of nutrition, while helping them adopt healthy eating habits even as they grow out of school.”

At the core, the purpose of this solution developed by Compass India is to transform the school café experience for children in India and help create lifelong healthy eaters. It is not just about changing the school food (menu) but to positively influence the very relationship children have with food and how children can become change agents for a healthier and sustainable planet.


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