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The University of Warwick's 'Spud-tacular' Vegan & Veggie Potato Van ‘mashes’ expectations

SPUD Loaded Baked Potatoes has opened on Campus at the University of Warwick offering a vegan and vegetarian alternative menu.  

The SPUD van marks the first step towards a more sustainable food offering at the University after research found that people on campus wanted more eco-friendly options for their lunch, with a demand for fresh and healthy meals in a move away from ultra-processed food where possible.  

The van’s design has been created by University of Warwick food historian, Professor Rebecca Earle – to celebrate the history of the potato and bring it to life.   

Professor Rebecca Earle, Food Historian from the University of Warwick said “According to a character in one of Tom Stoppard's plays, there is no problem that cannot be solved by a large enough plastic bag. I can't pretend that baked potatoes will solve all our problems, but they certainly make almost everything better. It's been a privilege to work with Matt Drew on Spud Van, and to contribute in a small way to this wonderful addition to the Warwick foodscape. I never dreamed my research would decorate the side of a food truck: that's about as good as it gets!”

This new culinary venture provides a range of diverse vegan and vegetarian fillings that draw inspiration from a wide range of global cuisines, ranging from spicy Mexican beans to savoury Jamaican jerk jackfruit. 

Matt Drew, the Director of Food and Beverage says, “We’ve had a lot of fun creating the ‘spud’ concept and bringing it to life. It stems from an opportunity I saw to link campus food to the University’s core purpose. When I heard about Rebecca’s work, and specifically her research into the potato, ‘spud’ was an obvious way to bring that to life whilst feeding students and staff with something that’s always popular… a baked potato. More, we wanted to signal a shift in direction for campus food that’s better for people and planet, engaging people with that mission in a fun and really accessible way.”

With a successful launch on Warwick’s central Piazza, the SPUD van will spend the rest of its time on campus outside of the University of Warwick’s Business School. It’s open Monday to Friday, 11am-2:30pm. 

Note to editors 
For more information, please contact: Kat Beauchamp 

Communications Officer | University of WarwickLink opens in a new window opens in a new window | Mobile: 07880175408