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Back-To-School Snackchat

Back-To-School Snackchat

With an embarrassing nickname and a simple smiley face scribbled across the front in black sharpie, the brown paper bag lunches my mom used to pack me (well into my senior year, I might add) were one of the highlights of my school experience. Nothing carves out a need for healthy snacking options like the back-to-school season, and there is no better way to meet that demand than with the many flavorful products that make up the produce department. Delivering on quality, convenience, and taste is what our industry does best, so I tapped a few fresh produce greats to find out what opportunities lie in wait for this lucrative season…

Bil Goldfield,

Director of Corporate Communications, Dole Food Company

“An often-overlooked category that can be merchandised during back-to-school season is salad and meal kits, and not just for dinners in ​households trying to adjust to the busy fall routine. We’re increasingly seeing salad kits as a base for wraps, sandwiches, and small bites in school lunches. We recently introduced a series of kit-based recipes based on our new DOLE® Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits—a blend of farm-fresh, washed-and-cut vegetables, spices, and seasoning designed to be combined with a favorite lean protein to create nutrient-dense wraps, burgers, soups, and other back-to-school recipes even picky kids will like.​ As a fresh produce marketer, I like this idea since it places vegetables at the center of the meal, which is exceedingly rare for a kid’s lunch. But as a parent, I appreciate it even more since it encourages creativity and healthier eating while still making it fun.”


Angela Hernandez,

Director of Marketing, Trinity Fruit Company

“You don’t need to think much out of the lunchbox when it comes to back-to-school snacks, especially with Trinity Fruit’s products. Packing a piece of fresh fruit is always an easy, healthy, grab-and-go snack option for kids—and really anyone! Our grab-and-go pouch bag is a great packaged offering for the shopping parent to quickly add to their cart. We also have our in-store Stone Fruit Age point-of-sale material available to catch the shopper looking for a snack that’s been around since the dawn of time! These pouch bags display amazingly on our Farm2You® display bins, making the produce section a fun experience for the shopper.”


Emily Autrey,

Marketing Manager, FirstFruits FARMS

“Kids genuinely look forward to back-to-school shopping—picking out new clothes, finding a backpack and lunchbox combo with their favorite character on the front, and grabbing a crayon set with every color imaginable. We want kids and their parents to be just as excited about selecting the nutritious and brain-boosting food that fills their lunchboxes each day. That’s why growing exceptional fruit for families is our mission here at FirstFruits Farms. Your family is important to us, and we’re here to make back-to-school time even easier with our high-flavor, versatile apples, perfect for snack time, school lunches, or the working parent’s lunch break. Retailers can capture this season’s excitement in the produce department by displaying a rainbow of options to cut or slice and tuck away into lunchboxes. Our Opal® apples are naturally non-browning, so they can be sliced ahead of time and still be crisp and delicious by lunchtime.”


Chris Veillon,

Chief Marketing Officer, Pure Flavor®

“Back-to-school can be electric on many levels with so much activity from getting kids ready for the day itself to after-school activities and sports and other family commitments. Healthy snacking needs to play heavily into everyone’s game plan. Convenience and, more importantly, flavor are going to be key with nutritious grab-and-go options for parents. Our Pure Flavor® Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers, and our popular Mini Munchies® check all the boxes—packed in formats that are perfect for lunch and after-school snacks!”


Nichole Towell,

Senior Director of Marketing and Packaging Procurement,
Duda Farm Fresh Foods

“Back-to-school is the perfect time to promote fresh-cut, pre-packed items such as celery. Parents are looking for easy and nutritious snacks to throw into their kids’ lunchboxes, so it would be wise to capitalize on this with in-store promotions and cross-merchandising. Retailers can display single-serve hummus or almond butter cups in the produce section to encourage shoppers to purchase these items together. Dandy® offers a variety of different fresh-cut options, including a 1.6 oz celery pack that is ideal for any lunchbox!”


Pablo Rivero,

Vice President of Marketing, Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., North America

“When we think of back-to-school, we think of convenient and packable lunches that give children the nutrients needed to power through the school day. Prepared fruits and vegetables are a great option for parents as they require minimal prep time and meet all food safety standards. Fresh Del Monte® Produce offers a wide range of fresh-cut, ready-to-eat produce including our Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapples, melons, table grapes, citrus, apples, mangos, kiwifruit, and much more. Bananas are also a go-to choice for parents and kids, as they are an affordable and portable snack option. Additionally, Mann Packing Co., a subsidiary of Fresh Del Monte, recently partnered with Mezete® to launch On the Go Hummus packs, which make the perfect savory snack. Mezete hummus contains 100 percent natural ingredients with no preservatives but is long-lasting and doesn’t require refrigeration. These hummus packs come pre-packed with breadsticks, making them even easier to add into a lunchbox.”