Packaging and Labeling for Back to School
Back to school is a hectic time of year for everyone with kids. First, you make several trips to Target, WalMart, etc to make sure they have all of their school supplies. Then you begin the ever-dreaded task of planning packed lunches. As a parent I am always looking for that next healthy snack for my kids, and food companies are banking on it.
According to Prevention Institute, the food and beverage industry spends approximately $2 billion dollars annually on marketing junk food directly to kids. Kids watch an average of over ten food-related ads every day. As a mom, I believe it. Not a day goes by where at least one of my kids is asking to try some sugary junk food that they have just seen a commercial for – and I can’t blame them. Manufacturers of these junk foods have great marketing departments and know what grabs children’s attention. Kids love bright colors and fun cartoon characters and you rarely see that on healthy snacks on the perimeter of the grocery store.
Recently Bolthouse Farms has made a move to compete in the back-to-school grab-and-go market by marketing to our children as well. The only difference is that Bolthouse Farms is one of the largest producers of baby carrots and juices in North America, and has created healthy snack choices. Their approach? Flavor their carrots like favorite snack foods and wrap their healthy snacks in junk food-like packaging.
“We believe that stealing a play out of the junk food playbook is a way for us to make these kinds of foods more emotive, more reachable, more accessible, more affordable, and that will increase consumption overall,” says Todd Putman, chief commercial officer at Bolthouse Farms. Bolthouse wants to inspire kids to make better food choices.Want to get kids to eat carrots? Brand them like junk food.
According to Prevention Institute one study found that when children were exposed to television content with food ads, they consumed 45% more food than those exposed to non-food ads. Bolthouse and other brands want to bring some of the junk food innovation to the produce aisle, with the hopes of seeing real changes in how children eat.
Another company pushing for healthier snack options for kids is Garden Lites, The Delicious Vegetable Company. They are also taking advantage of the back to school marketing. They launched their new packaging for veggie-rich muffins and soufflés during back to school promotions. They have updated their logo as well as easy to read packaging. Their muffins thaw at room temperature, which makes them a great portable option for breakfast on-the-go, everyday lunches and after-school snacks. Each pack shows just how delicious their products really are. “These muffins are a true innovation as there is nothing else on the market that has vegetables as the first ingredient,” says Julie Gould, Assistant Brand Manager of Garden Lites.
They key to food marketing has become more consumer driven then ever before. Food packaging and labeling is key to drawling the consumer to your product. When Super Sprowtz put vegetable superhero characters on healthy snacks at a school salad bar, the number of students eating vegetables at lunch rose 250%. To understand the food market today, the food industry needs to know what their consumers want in the food they are buying. Then the food industry must market foods that satisfy those demands.