Back to School

While Ireland’s kids are busy making the most of their summer holidays, sadly for them, it won’t be long before the new school term rolls round again. Make sure you are fully prepared and ready, with a variety of convenient and healthy lunchbox options in-store for time-pressured parents, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

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25 July 2017 | 0

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Top marks for lunchbox heroes 

The ‘back to school’ season is an expensive time of year for parents. In fact, the annual Barnardos School Costs Survey last year found that parents pay almost €800 to start a child in secondary school. The survey also showed parents are spending €340 to send a senior infants pupil back to school, but that cost increases to €365 for fourth class and €775 for a first year pupil at second level. What’s more, 42% of parents said they have to juggle household bills or forego paying bills in order to pay back-to-school expenses. Value-for-money therefore remains a prime concern for the nation’s mums and dads.

While price remains an important factor though, so too is the desire to equip their children with nutritious lunchtime options that will enable kids to get the most out their day and contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.

Healthy choices on the up
A report by market analyst Mintel published in March of last year, found fruit and veg sales are on the rise. According to Brian O’Connor, senior consumer analyst at Mintel: “The drive among Irish consumers to improve their diets and overall health has helped to boost the usage of fruit and vegetables in both NI and RoI – with produce dubbed as ‘superfoods’ seeing sales improve drastically during 2015. However, many consumers still struggle to reach their five-a-day, pointing to a need for more guidance on portion sizes and products that make meeting this requirement easier for consumers.”

‘Better For You’ (BFY) packaged food in Ireland has also recorded solid growth, according to a report published by Euromonitor Ireland in May of this year. Euromonitor reports BFY food in Ireland experienced current value growth of 5% in 2016; a faster growth compared to the review period. According to Euromonitor, as unemployment fell and consumer confidence returned to the country, many consumers were more willing to spend extra disposable income on food products that they feel are better for their health.

What’s more, Euromonitor also shows baby and child-specific products grew by 2% in current value terms in Ireland in 2016. Retail volume growth remained robust, with many consumers seeking value for money through private label offerings. Euromonitor likewise reports there was an increase in the population aged between 0-11 years, which also contributed towards the natural growth in sales. Subsequently, the baby and child-specific products category is predicted to see a value CAGR of 2% at constant 2016 prices over the forecast period to reach €45 million in 2021. Volume sales are expected to continue growing over the forecast period despite a return to less promotional activity being likely as well as declining unit prices in most categories.

Lunchbox choices
Euromonitor Ireland has also reported on the performance of a couple of other perennial lunchbox favourites. In its ‘Juice in Ireland’ report published earlier this year in February, the analyst states that health and wellness trends continued to influence the juice category in Ireland in 2016. As such, juice in Ireland is expected to post both a volume and value CAGR of 3% at constant 2016 prices over the forecast period, reaching sales of €179 million and 97 million litres in 2021. Growth will be driven by stronger consumer purchasing power as a result of the improving economy, as well as a growing desire for better quality and healthier products, reports Euromonitor.

Meanwhile, the ‘yoghurt and sour milk products’ category has seen current value growth of 2% in 2016, with this projected to reach value sales of €236 million. The sugar content of many yoghurt products hindered growth within the category over the review period, according to Euromonitor. However, the category has returned to growth due largely to the continuing rise in the popularity of natural, organic and Greek-styleyoghurt products. ‘Yoghurt and sour milk products’ is expected to increase at a value CAGR of 2% at constant 2016 prices over the forecast period to reach €257 million in 2021. Euromonitor reports yoghurt in particular is expected to drive growth within the category. In spite of the increased prevalence of private label within the category, brand innovations and products with higher health perceptions, such as high protein, low sugar and Greek-style yoghurt products are expected to facilitate growth, according to the analyst.

Fresh-baked quality
As Ireland’s oldest bakery, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien has over 180 years of experience in selecting high-grade flour from the finest wheat grown harvests. Over time, the bakery has refined its recipes so that all the quality ingredients come together perfectly to make consumers’ favourite fresh-baked breads. To each of its breads, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien says a unique ingredient is added; a longstanding heritage of crafting superior-tasting baking goods. A healthy, balanced diet has always been essential for living a full and active life and the company believes its baked goods play an important role in maintaining consumers’ health.

With Goodness of Both bread, shoppers can enjoy the smoothness of white bread with all the goodness of wholemeal, offering a nutritionally attractive option for those who prefer the taste of white bread.

With the famous Toastie, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien says great care was taken to ensure it sliced the bread to just the right size and shape to create the most perfect slice of toast. Why not take a little lunchbox inspiration from the brand’s recipe page at

Johnston Mooney & O’Brien took care to ensure its Toastle loaf was sliced to just the right size and shape

Johnston Mooney & O’Brien’s Goodness of Both combines the smoothness of white bread with all the goodness of wholemeal








Wholesome oaty goodness

Flahavan’s is delighted to introduce a new look for its tasty range of Irish Oaty Flapjacks, which includes the introduction of three new varieties. Fruit & Nut, Cranberry & Orange and Multiseed support the already established varieties of Chocolate Chip and Original. These wholesome oaty snacks are made with the same great quality locally-sourced Irish oats which have been filling bowls of porridge in Ireland for over 230 years, and are baked to perfection in a bespoke bakery beside the Flahavan’s mill in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford.

Flahavan’s Flapjacks come individually wrapper with six in a retail pack or 24 single serve shelf-ready box.

Individually wrapped with six in a retail pack or 24 in a single serve shelf-ready box, Flahavan’s Flapjacks are proving hugely popular right across numerous cohorts of consumers, for many reasons but most notably for their taste, quality, source of fibre and source of energy. All of this is wrapped up in a convenient pack, making them an ideal treat for many occasions, in and outof-home, on-the-go and as a lunchbox option.

Key unique selling points include their high taste and quality. They are Irish-made with Irish oats, baked in Waterford with no additives or preservatives. All-in-all, they constitute a filling and nutritious convenient snack.

Three new varieties, Fruit & Nut, Cranberry & Orange and Multiseed support already-established varieties, Choclolate Chip and Original

Flahavan’s is supporting this new packaging and product launch with an above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) nationwide campaign which will feature in the market soon.

Coming to a lunchbox near you…
Kelkin’s new milk chocolate and yogurt flavoured mini rice cakes are an ideal guilt-free snack. Each Snack Pack is individually wrapped and has four tasty mini rice cakes. These rice cakes are the perfect addition to lunchboxes and are great as a calorie-controlled snack on-the-go. Made from wholegrain rice, these rice cakes are gluten and wheat-free and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Kelkin mini rice cakes are available in a multipack format with six snack packs in each or in individual packs for on-the-go.

Each Kelkin’s Snack Pack is individually wrapped and contains four mini rice cake treats

Refreshing new partnership with ISPCC

Tipperary Kidz has announced its newest partnership, which will raise significant funds for one of Ireland’s leading children’s charities, the ISPCC. Tipperary Water Kidz is the market leader in the Kidz Water segment*. The move will see a portion of proceeds from every pack of Tipperary Water Kidz sold donated to help fund the ISPCC’s Childline service.

The partnership supports the ISPCC in providing an active listening service for all children, and is available 24-hours a day. The helpline is unique in its availability, accessibility and affordability to children. It is a safe, private and free service that is available to all children and young people.

As a product that is consumed by children on a daily basis all over Ireland, partnering with the ISPCC was a natural and appropriate fit for Tipperary Kidz, according to brand manager, Justine Byrne.

A portion of proceeds from every pack of Tipperary Water Kidz sold will be donated to the ISPCC’s Childline service

“The ISPCC’s Childline logo and phone number will be placed on water pack, ensuring it is easily seen by those who need it – children,” said Byrne.

“The back-to-school period is an important time for us, but it’s also a time  when children are bringing our child-friendly sized packs to school,” she added. “We want to maximise the reach of the ISPCC’s Childline number so will be promoting the new partnership with strong in store activity and dynamic point-of-sale materials at key school shopping periods throughout the year. This is a really important partnership and we are looking forward to working with the trade to make it a huge success.”

In 2016 Childline answered 385,673 calls to the phone service and had a 6.5% increase in contacts to its online range of services, with 19,582 conversations held on its Childline Online service options.

From humble beginnings,Tipperary Pure Irish Water has grown to become a major national brand whose name is synonymous with quality and Irishness. Tipperary Kidz water is designed especially for kids, in an easy to hold bottle with a fun sports cap for instant refreshment. Tipperary Kidz has two flavour variants; Tiger Juice and Fruit Blast.

To contact ChildLine: Phone: 1800 666 666 or Text: talk to 51550. Use the one-to-one live chat web-based service on

To learn more about the Tipperary water range visit, *(Source: Nielsen, Total on & off trade water (ROI), MAT, Nov 16)

Spend less time on lunchtime
For decades John West has been doing its part to help busy families get an all-important serving of fish in their diets. The brand aims to serve the growing demand for tasty lunch and snack options for consumers with an active healthy lifestyle. 

Each John West Fridgepack contains five servings of tuna mixed with sweetcorn and mayonnaise in an innovative 255g plastic pot

John West’s latest innovation is Fridgepack. This great time saver product is easy to store and use but the best bit is that it can be resealed so that consumers can keep it in the fridge for a full five days. Each pack contains five servings of tuna mixed with sweetcorn and mayonnaise in an innovative 255g plastic pot.

This tasty lunchtime treat is perfect for sandwiches, crispy rolls, baked potatoes or smothered on tasty crackers.

It is also the perfect healthy option for parents who may be struggling to prepare the little ones’ lunchtime sandwiches in record time during the busy school week.

John West will be promoting Fridgepack with an innovative sampling plan and an interactive social media campaign.

“So stock up now to offer essential and important fish goodness to your customers,” John West advises.



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