In the K-12 segment, snacking is big. Students have a variety of options to choose from every day at breakfast and lunch, from prepared snacks to packaged, grab-and-go options offered with meals. But not every snack is a bestseller; certain choices are more popular than others.
For operators trying to put together the best mix of snacks for K-12 students, knowing what the most popular options are is key. Joanne Kinsey, foodservice consultant and president of The Kinsey Kompany, who specializes in the K-12 segment, weighed in, noting that many of the most popular snacks are ones that kids recognize from when their parents go shopping.
Check out the six snacks Kinsey says kids love most.
1) Graham crackers and breakfast cookies
Kids love sweet snacks, but to meet whole-grain requirements, many schools stock snacks such as breakfast cookies made with oats or graham crackers made with whole wheat flour. These grab-and-go juggernauts are perfect for young students as well as older kids in high school, depending on the format. Some graham snacks are bite-sized, while others, such as Goldfish® Giant Grahams, are offered in single-serve packages, perfect for eating on-the-go. Kids can enjoy them on their own or dipped into tasty dips such as nut butter (where available), yogurt, jam and more.
2) Cheese-flavored crackers
On the savory side, cheese crackers, such as Goldfish® are made with whole grain and baked with real cheese, providing a wholesome option. They are great as a side dish at lunch and can also be offered in an individually portioned package.
These snacks do double duty at lunch, too: Offer them as toppings for soups and salads to add some crunchy texture.
3) Roasted and seasoned chickpeas
Flavorful, seasoned roasted chickpeas are another popular snack among the K-12 crowd. Offer them in a variety of flavors to suit different tastes. These snacks offer a protein boost for hungry kids and are also a good source of carbs and fiber. They’re also a perfect alternative for schools that can’t offer nuts as snacks.
Another protein-packed snack, yogurt—whether in squeeze tubes, a cup or as part of a parfait—is a great snack for kids. Offered in popular fruit flavors that K-12 students love, it’s an ideal way to keep kids full until their next big meal. Plus, when yogurt is offered as part of a parfait, kids can pick their favorite toppings, including graham cracker bites, fresh fruit and more. Yogurt also doubles as a dip for graham cracker snacks.
While many jerkies are traditionally high in sodium, some companies are now offering products that meet school nutrition requirements, and kids are loving it. Jerky is another high-protein option, perfect for student athletes (and nonathletes alike). Flavors such as teriyaki make it an appealing choice for many.
6) Dried fruit and trail mix
Finally, dried fruit offered in single-serve packages helps kids eat more fruit while providing the novelty of a new format. Dried apple slices or strawberries are popular, but there is an array of dried fruit snacks on the market, including banana, mango, raisins, dates and more. Schools can also offer trail mix, a combination of nuts (if allowed in the school), chocolate chips, dried fruits and more.
SERVE A BRAND THAT KIDS AND PARENTS LOVE AT YOUR SCHOOL
Bring smiles to students by serving Goldfish® Crackers and Grahams in your school. Goldfish® is the most popular cracker brand among households with kids under 12. With a wide variety of products that contain no artificial flavors or preservatives—including options made with whole grains—Goldfish® can help create fun, delicious and wholesome meals. As part of a grab-n-go breakfast, school lunch or à la carte option, Goldfish® can help fuel kids throughout the day.
At Campbell’s Foodservice, we want to make it easy for you to serve products that can help meet nutritional requirements while making students happy. Goldfish® Crackers and Grahams can be the key to boosting participation and smiles in your school.
Source: IRI Total U.S. All Outlets, latest 52 weeks through January 2019