Schools find prepackaged meals add to breakfast success

Survey finds breakfast-in-the-classroom programs increase participation.

Prepackaged meals are key to breakfast success, according to the 2012 Survey of School Breakfast Programs conducted by the got breakfast Foundation.

The online survey asked foodservice directors representing 1,500 schools with an estimated enrollment of 2.2 million students, questions to assess current trends in school breakfast programs. Results showed that most continue to mix it up by offering cold, hot, grab-and-go, and prepackaged breakfasts to keep the kids coming to breakfast.

Approximately 50% of foodservice directors are "most likely" or "likely" to offer or expand breakfast in alternate sites with prepackaged meals offered at least two times per week. Offering of prepackaged breakfasts increased from "some" to "most" in 2012 with 79% reporting one of these responses; as compared to 72% in a similar survey conducted two years ago.

"Based on the survey results it appears that prepackaged breakfasts are considered a means to increase participation or expand the breakfast program to alternate sites," says got breakfast? Founder Gary Davis. "We have found that it takes four labor hours for every 600 breakfasts of individual components to be assembled and distributed, but it only takes one labor hour to distribute 600 prepackaged breakfasts – and labor savings go to the bottom line!"

For example, Buffalo Public Schools, which serve 20,500 breakfasts daily in 70 schools, have seen an increase of 3,000 breakfasts per day last year and 1,700 per day this year since implementing the breakfast in the classroom program and relying on a mix of hot, cold and prepackaged meals.

"I loved using prepackaged breakfasts especially at start-up, because it was easy for foodservice staff in September to pack a whole unit with 25 breakfasts – easier for kids to take one package and one milk," explained Bridget Wood, food service director for Buffalo Public Schools.

What's in prepackaged meals?  The 2012 Survey reported the following top components to purchase in prepackaged breakfasts:  juice (97%); fruit cups (91%); cereal in a bowl (89%); and, muffins (83%). 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
oversized portions

Here are the trends FSD's Chefs’ Council members wish would go away.

Kale Gluten-free Sriracha Chipotle Microgreens on everything Sous vide cooking Aversion to bread Healthy desserts Vegan diets Lies about local sourcing/organic food Fast food Cupcakes Pumpkin spice Fat-free or low-fat Meatless Mondays Bread cones Rigid child nutrition guidelines Bacon on everything Cajun Doughnuts with over-the-top toppings Oversized portions Fried foods Pinterest
Ideas and Innovation
Frose

Frose, sushi burgers and single-item restaurants are hot topics as of late, according to Forbes, which recently released a list of seven buzzwords in the foodservice world. Here’s what’s trending, in no particular order.

Blended burgers Frozecco and frose Goth food Hemp Single-item restaurants Sushi burger Upcycling
Industry News & Opinion
MeuDirections

One of my favorite cartoons shows a commander whose soldiers are in the midst of fighting a war with bows and arrows. Without turning around, he tells a man who has come up behind him, “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to talk to you.” The man was a rifle salesman.

In today’s time-pressed world, we are all too busy. So, it can be difficult to find time to reach out to others for ideas, solutions and best practices. But as that cartoon illustrates, it’s critical to being successful. The sharing of knowledge is a pillar of FoodService Director . Through our magazine and events, we have been...

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

FSD Resources