The start of September spells the end of summer but it also marks the beginning of a busy and hugely prosperous sales season for UK supermarkets and Co-ops and for both groups’ convenience format stores and on-line businesses as first the schools, then the colleges and universities start their new academic years.
School lunchboxes and all that goes into them are a highly lucrative mega category for the multiples, which doesn’t ease up in sales terms from the first day of the autumn term to the last day of the summer session.

‘Back to school’ covers everything from food, snacks and drinks and waters to stationery stock items, to laundry products and first aid items. Add to that the more expensive necessities like clothing, shoes and IT products like laptops and printer cartridges and it really starts to stack up.

Because it goes into lunchboxes five days a week, food is probably the largest component of this overall. Pladis, the global biscuit and confectionery supplier, plays a massive part in Britain’s school lunch boxes, with sweet and savoury biscuits, wafer, cake, chocolate and more. A recent survey commissioned by their Jacob’s brand shows one in three consumers are bored by their everyday sandwich and the same goes for school kids. For busy parents who do the kids’ lunches, finding something new and interesting day in day out is a tough challenge. Now school kids and teachers too are set to benefit from Jacob’s latest initiative to change that. Earlier this year Jacob’s launched their £15m CRACKIN’ ad campaign, based on the core insight that even the smallest of snacks can deliver big satisfaction. Now, Blur bass player and boss cheesemaker Alex James is working with Jacob’s as its Chief Taste Curator, bringing to bear his skills as a farmer, cheesemaker and serious foodie on a mission to help Brits of all ages rethink their lunch and find new ways to enjoy crackers as a lighter alternative to bread and thereby reinvent lunchtime. Top marks!

College students are big spenders in multiple grocers in the towns and cities where the colleges are. Going to college is the first time away from home for the vast majority of young people, which is where Kepak’s Rustlers microwaveable hot snacks come to the rescue. The novelty of having to look after yourself instead of your mum doing it all wears off pretty quickly when college starts and the reality can be traumatic for some. For others, having the freedom to do whatever they want free of their parents is wonderful.

For when cooking is a no-no, Rustlers are ideal: as fast fuel after a night out or as an instant reward after an evening of studying. Or pretty well any time when students don’t have the chance to eat something. Have a successful Back To School season.

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