Statistics don’t lie.

Market research suggests that brand interaction, especially through events and promotions, bear strong results. Nearly half (47%) of co-eds have received a free product sample, and 65% of them went on to purchase the brand. More than a third (34%) have attended a brand-sponsored event on campus and 64% went on to purchase the brand.

hago’s highly diverse buying group of millennials are expected to represent 20% of the U.S. population by 2020. Compared to the general population, current students are expected to have twice the buying power for the food they eat at home. College student discretionary spending increased from $86 billion (2011) to $120 billion in 2012.

It’s no secret college students love to eat. Food is their #1 spend. In 2012, students will spend $44B on food expenses. The pursuit of food, among other things, consistently draws students to off-campus locales as well. Nearly all (92%) students visit off campus grocery stores, 88% visit quick-service restaurants and 83% visit sit-down restaurants in a typical month.

Source: 2012 College Explorer Survey, powered by Crux Research.