August awaits


Going back to school is the perfect opportunity for retailers to stock up on lunchbox essentials for parents who seek the best ingredients for their children’s diet.

By Elena Dimama

Cost saving is front of mind for all shoppers, especially for those who need to plan ahead with lunch boxes.

Preparing meals for school is always combined with the need to provide healthy choices for children, with no added or low sugar at front of mind.

The humble sandwich

The traditional sandwich remains a key part of any lunchbox, with value for money and healthier options being the two main trends.

“Making sure there’s a good range of pre-packaged bread on offer that caters for different tastes available at all times is essential to cater for the back-to-school trend,” says Alistair Gaunt, Commercial Director at Hovis. “Recent research commissioned by Hovis showed that the top sandwich fillers are still some of the all-time favourites: ham and cheese, egg with mayo or cress, and BLT.

“Offering a selection of these classic sandwich fillers alongside a range of pre-packaged bread like Hovis with its extensive portfolio to suit all tastes and budgets, will help retailers ensure they’re well-prepared to respond to rising demand for packed lunches.”

Sales of white bread currently account for over 55% of pre-packaged bread units sold, according to Nielsen. “Given the current economic climate, many shoppers are buying fewer different types of bread for their households and are increasingly moving towards pre-packaged white bread, which is most likely to satisfy the needs of multiple people,” Gaunt adds. “It is therefore clearly important for retailers to stock white bread as it is a potential ‘crowd-pleaser’ for everyone in the household.”

Tips from Hovis
  • Creating a back-to-school occasion display can really help to drive impact in-store. For example, displaying a range of lunchbox essentials, such as pre-packaged bread, sandwich fillers and fruit, next to or close to each other and offering cross-category promotions can help to boost sales.
  • Where running promotions, using POS in-store can also help build shopper awareness of the different offers available and encourage them to buy multiple items in one shop.
  • We recommend ensuring the most popular products are displayed at eye level in convenience stores. These products will often have a single facing, so it’s important to ensure the customer sees them and knows they are available.
  • We’d also recommend that stores enhance their pre-packaged products wherever possible, e.g., cross-promoting with other favourites to help provide inspiration for shoppers to create a more special lunchbox for their children.


Children getting their five-a-day was recently cited as the most important factor for their diet, according to a recent survey of parents by Kantar. In addition, a recent survey by StreetBees of nearly 50,000 consumers showed that the number one attribute sought when deciding on what to eat and drink was ‘no added or low sugar’ content.

“At Dole Sunshine Company we are the UK category leader in packaged fruit snacks, with our entire product range containing 100% real fruit, with no added sugar in any of its fruit in juice range,” Andrew Bradshaw, UK Sales Director at Dole Sunshine Company, notes.

“Our latest data shows Dole has a value share of just over 58% of the fruit-in-juice cups category and a value share of over 85% of the fruit-in-jelly cups category. All the variants in our range are less than 100 calories per serving and come in convenient and recyclable packs which can be eaten at home or on the go.”

The brand has recently launched 198g Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple or Dole Tropical Fruit in Juice packs designed to suit the chiller, with a minimum delivered shelf life of over 90 days to minimise waste.

Keep the snacks

With health remaining a top priority, snack brands are following suit by lowering calories and sugar intake.

“Bagged snacks are a staple in children’s lunchboxes making the back-to-school occasion a critical opportunity for retailers to drive CSN sales,” Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, notes.

“For manufacturers and retailers looking to gain sales, it is key that they are offering a core range boosted with the right promotions and in-store merchandising.”

Tips from KP Snacks
  • Activate lunchbox occasions and maximise singles sales by siting commonly purchased products, such as soft drinks and crisps, together.
  • Make use of impactful branded display and POS, such as stackers and dump bins, to drive basket spend.
  • Give shoppers great value by using PMPs and promotional offers, sited in prominent locations in-store to maximise sales.
  • Stock the bestsellers your customers are seeking and use well-known brands to deliver strong shopper appeal – 42% of sales go through the top five brands.


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This publication contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under the age of 18 years old.

This website contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under 18 years of age.

This website contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under 18 years of age.

This publication contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under the age of 18 years old.