The Battle for the Box

Michelle Edelman

Michelle Edelman

Chief Strategy Officer

With spring in the air, parents everywhere are looking at their summer calendars and trying to figure out what their little people are going to do with their time come June. But we know one thing for sure: Nobody will miss the daily school lunch ritual.

A full 65 percent of moms agree there is no such thing as a “supermom,” and apparently packing lunch is even Supermom’s kryptonite. And 55 percent of moms admit they dread trying to figure out what should go in that lunchbox. With three out of four kids saying they throw out part of their packed lunch once a week, it’s no wonder that the packed school lunch is a huge concern for parents.

There are several trends that are colliding in that little metal tote:

  • Glamour food. Moms look for quick new lunch inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. And there are a trove of great ideas to be had. The problem? Parents feel that social media is a pressure cooker, showing them unattainable, beautiful images of food. Visual appeal of food is becoming an expectation for all age groups – even very young kids.
  • Health-conscious kids. Thanks to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), food and health are active in kids’ minds. In fact, 70 percent of schoolkids said they were happy with the move toward healthy choices. They were more likely to complain about low-quality food in their lunches than food that was “too healthy.”
  • Foodphobia. The increased awareness of food allergies puts the old standby PB&J and other easy packables onto the no-go list.

We’re in lunch no man’s land in this post-Lunchables world. We can’t wait for one of our clients to crack this untapped market for great-looking, healthy, allergy-sensitive lunch ideas.



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