Kids heading back to school in September may not recognise their classroom. Bubbles of 15 children, desks separated, and limited social interaction will be scary to some of the younger children, as every school in the UK tries to implement a return in line with Government advice.

In most schools, the cafeteria or school kitchen won’t be open so students will need to take their own snacks and lunches.

With packed lunches the only option, retailers should expect to see an increase demand for the lunchbox staples of bread and rolls – the usual suspects, as well as sandwich fillings.

Creating a lunchbox area in store will be a great initiative as there will be parents who don’t usually make their children a packed lunch who now have to start (a daunting prospect for many parents!) and they’ll be looking for inspiration and ideas that are quick to throw together.

“As always, getting children involved in making their own lunchbox is a good way to ensure it comes home empty,“ comments Charlotte Hulbert, Sales Manager, Brioche Pasquier. “Being at home has encouraged families to create and bake more, interest in our Brioche recipe emails has increased by 23% over the last 6 months and many will translate these new ideas into their packed lunches.”

Being back at school may be a little daunting for some of the younger children, so lunchboxes that remind them of home will be comforting. Brioche Mini Pizzas have been one of the brand‘s most popular recipes and are easy for kids to make at home and then pop into a lunchbox. Using Brioche Rolls instead of sliced bread for sandwiches gives a more interesting look and taste, even if they’re filled with the ever popular cheese and ham.

Individually wrapped snacks are going to be popular as they give that little extra comfort of hygiene and safety. Brioche Pasquier PITCH choc chips offer a choice between smooth chocolate filling or bountiful chocolate chips.

Becky Unwin, Senior Brand Manager, Vimto, comments: “As one of the top purchases in the impulse channel, soft drinks are an important source of revenue for convenience stores.” The category is worth £8.6bn and is growing at +1%.

“The new school term signals the return of parents looking to stock up on items and presents an opportunity that retailers cannot miss,” adds Unwin.

“At Vimto, we have a wide portfolio of products that meet a variety of tastes and need states for this occasion.”

For Vimto, students have always been a key back to school target, and RTD Vimto remains popular in the grab and go lunch market – purchased primarily by students. The Vimto Remix range is worth £9.2million in incremental sales. Vimto Remix Orange, Strawberry and Lime is a citrus-based newcomer to the range, crafted from a mix of three real fruits and the Vimto blend of herbs and spices.

Coca-Cola European Partners has announced that its entire Capri-Sun portfolio is now free from artificial ingredients, following the reformulation of its Capri-Sun No Added Sugar range.

Capri-Sun No Added Sugar will now include Stevia, a plant-based sweetener in combination with natural fruit sugars. The new recipe maintains the same great taste that consumers love, with no artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners or preservatives and is soft drinks tax exempt.

This means the Capri-Sun range – including Capri-Sun and Capri-Sun No Added Sugar – will be made using 100% of ingredients from natural sources.

The move will help retailers to meet the growing demand for more natural options in the kids’ drinks market, with 70% of parents looking to avoid products that contain anything artificial.

Capri-Sun, which is currently worth more than £62million and the no.1 branded kids drink in GB (Nielsen), will highlight its ‘Nothing Artificial’ credentials with a packaging refresh across its portfolio, making it easier for parents to shop the category and get the products they want.

This will be supported by a £6million marketing campaign later this year, spanning television and social media, as well as in-store materials to help shoppers navigate the kid drinks fixture.

Simon Harrison, Vice President, Commercial Development at Coca-Cola European Partners GB, said: “Our research has shown that shoppers are confused at point of purchase and are concerned about the sugar content and artificial ingredients in kids drinks. Capri-Sun’s move to nothing artificial will help simplify the shopping experience whilst still delivering the same great fruity taste that families love and that has become synonymous with Capri-Sun, the number one kids’ drinks brand in GB.”

The Capri-Sun No Added Sugar Nothing Artificial range includes Orange and Apple & Blackcurrant.

Children across the nation continue to be treated to their favorite miniature biscuits, despite the notable absence of school lunchboxes and on-the-go snacking occasions.

Burton’s is encouraging retailers to stock up on biscuit portion packs, as demand continues for more permissible lunch accompaniments and snacking options that can be enjoyed both at home or on-the-go, as part of a balanced diet.

Kate Needham, Marketing Director at Burton’s Biscuit Company says: “Despite Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown which has resulted in a lack of out-of-home occasions, synonymous with the consumption of biscuit portion packs, stockpiling has had a positive effect on the category, growing 22% YoY in the last 12 weeks. Although 42% of Maryland Mini’s are usually eaten out-of-home, it remains the No.1 Kids Mini’s brand during lockdown (£11.6m RSV), with Jammie Dodgers Mini’s experiencing 30.2% growth over the last 12 weeks, highlighting that shoppers are still buying these convenient and permissible treats to eat at home”.

“The easing of lockdown also sees the number of consumption occasions rise dramatically, with Maryland Mini’s and Jammie Dodgers Mini’s perfectly placed to once more meet consumer needs for a permissible treat on-the-go, in the car, after school sports and leisure activities, as well as in lunchboxes or as an afternoon snack.”

Many of Burton’s best-selling brands such as Jammie Dodgers and Maryland Cookies are available in mini bite size or individual portions, as the company leads the way in portion-controlled biscuits, offering the strongest ‘less than 100 calories per serve’ range in the UK’s £3 billion biscuits category.

Last year Burton’s introduced the ‘Under 100 Cal Club’, the UK’s first and biggest range of reduced calorie biscuits, giving consumers an increased choice of permissible biscuits and snacks under 100 calories.

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