Smart Food Brands Capitalize on the Back to School Buzz

Smart Food Brands Capitalize on the Back to School Buzz

Parents all over are rejoicing:  It’s Back to School time!  I was super excited to have my kiddo head off to hitch a ride on the big yellow cheese wagon until I remembered I had to go school shopping.  IMHO, back to school shopping is worse than fighting the crowds on Black Friday. On Black Friday you’re at least choosing to fight the crowds. Shopping for supplies from a list the school provides, kind of makes it so you have to go. Or at least shop online.

Just last week, the National Retail Federation reported that families with children in elementary school through high school spend an average of $696.70 on back to school supplies and clothes.  For many retailers, the back-to-school season is the number one or two shopping season on the calendar. That makes it for serious business.

Plus its not just supplies and clothes that can make a splash on the back to school buzz.  Food brands from snacks to breakfast cereals to frozen meals capitalize on this seasonal landscape too. But does it make sense?

Making the Connection

At the core, marketing is all about making a connection with the target audience at the right time. Back to School campaigns aim just to do that, connecting with a shared experience.  Whether marketing straight to kids or to moms/dads— a good campaign connects what’s happening in their lives to the product, you want them to purchase.

What makes seasonal campaigns great is the product doesn’t necessarily have to be inherently about school or school lunches/snacks.  However, the campaign should make some sort of logical reasoning for the audience.  Hormel does this well with their inspired by series.  Sure, Hormel is home to lunchmeats which works pretty good in sack lunches, but they also provide recipes for their pepperoni and salsa products that make back to school breakfasts and dinners as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Partner with a Retailer or Go it Alone?

Brands with big marketing pocketbooks can rely on the brand equity of partner retailers.  Sure, they might have to share space with other brands, but with national exposure, why not?  Especially if you fit in that space.  Nobody does this better than Walmart—with this little: 15-sec spot, the following brands were featured:

  • Pop-Tarts Bites Frosted Strawberry
  • Walmart Great Value Mini Cookies Variety Pack,
  • PRO2Snax
  • Not to mention produce; apples, red grapes & mild cheddar

All packaged up in Tommy’s lunchbox that you better believe you can also purchase at Walmart.

So okay, you’re not a Kellogg’s, find other ways to win big during this time of year.  We all know social media is an excellent avenue for promoting and connecting with consumers. Why not run a mini back-to-school campaign?  Perhaps a giveaway or two? One for the kids and one for parents! The key to any great campaign is to think outside the box.

Need any more out of the box ideas or thought starters? You’re in luck! Click on any of the related articles below. Or if you want to talk about how we can help with your food marketing strategy, please reach out to the NewPoint team. If you are interested in more food marketing topics, please visit our “Food for Thought” page. Alternatively, check out NewPoint’s book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.