In a class of its own!

As it won’t be long until the new term rolls around again, products that tick all the right nutritional boxes for parents will once again be in high demand. Retailers must ensure they have all their bases covered, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

21 July 2022 | 0

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The start of a new school term is often when parents try out new brands and innovations. If they prove to be a hit with the kids, these products often end up becoming repeat purchases throughout the academic year.

Often the brands commanding the most attention reassure parents of the nutritional and natural value of their products. Parents have high nutritional expectations when it comes to packing the all-important school lunchbox. And for good reason. With child obesity on the rise in Ireland, parents are paying close attention to what they put on their children’s plates. Many brands have responded by producing healthier alternatives to traditional sweet and savoury products.

52% of shoppers will be keeping it local, by spending in school supply stores within their local area, says Caroline Decourcy, research & insights director at Talon Ireland

Caroline Decourcy, research & insights director at Talon Ireland ( has examined how FMCG brands and retailers can target consumers effectively in Ireland ahead of back-to-school season through the power of outdoor advertising.

Talon Ireland’s research shows that most consumers anticipate back-to-school shopping to take place in July (34%), followed by August (29%), with a number already having started to get organised (June 27%).

Its research also confirms that despite inflation, consumers are planning to spend in preparation for the upcoming school year, with most families (37%) estimating a spend of between €200-€400, followed by 28% spending between €400-€750 and a smaller number (18%) estimating a spend of more than €750.

Talon’s study also shows consumers will be shopping across several stores, with Tesco being the most popular (65%), followed by Dunnes Stores (60%). 52% of respondents will be keeping it local, by spending in school supply stores within their local area.

Moreover, 40% of back-to-school shoppers will be shopping across high-street, shopping centres and local stores. 27% will be using a mix of in-store and online. Only 4% of consumers will be doing all their back-to-school shopping online, this shows that there is a growing comfort with a return to in-store shopping.

Based on these findings, Caroline Decourcy has outlined a number of points for advertisers and brands to consider, in order to make the most of this time of year:

  1. Local communities are still vitally important. Even though we are finally at the point of a post-pandemic new normal that does not mean local communities should be forgotten when planning your campaigns. Many consumers now, more than ever, are making a more conscious effort to shop local therefore it’s important to still include these areas in your plans to reach audiences right along the path to purchase.
  2. Despite Inflation, spending power is still prevalent for back-to-school shoppers. Our findings suggest that this will be an extremely competitive back-to-school shopping season with many consumers shopping across multiple stores.
  3. Brick and mortar is still an area of focus. Even though consumers are beginning to shop more online, back-to-school shopping is likely to be done in person. Advertisers and brands should still be focusing their campaigns on driving footfall to stores, they can do this via campaigns that include directional messaging to the nearest location or prompt shoppers by displaying quieter times to visit.

All of the above findings point to the optimism consumers have heading into the 2022-2023 school year.

A little sunshine in every drop! 

MiWadi is a truly iconic Irish brand and continues to grow from strength to strength in the marketplace. From humble beginnings in 1927 MiWadi has been a fruity and flavoursome part of childhood in Ireland for 94 years and has always remained relevant to Irish families with a wide range of flavours in our Regular, No Added Sugar, 0% Sugar and Drops ranges. MiWadi is still produced in Dublin to this day and is a proud member of Love Irish Food.

This summer, MiWadi is delighted to announce that its single concentrate and double concentrate ranges are now fortified with Vitamin D which supports families’ immune systems*.

Vitamin D is very important in diets to help support families’ general health, growth and development but it can be difficult to achieve the recommended daily intake of 5 µg. It has been reported that Vitamin D deficiency is very prevalent in Ireland**.

MiWadi makes the water that everyone needs to drink each day extra delicious and refreshing. To enjoy all the thirst-quenching tastiness of MiWadi at its best, just add water.

MiWadi continues to grow year on year maintaining its number one position in the squash category***.

*(Excludes MiWadi Regular Blackcurrant 1L)

**(Source: Department of Health Article Reporting on Vitamin D Deficiency in Ireland, April 2020)

***(Source: Nielsen Value Share MAT Total Squash Category May 2022)

(Vitamin D contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and maintenance of normal bones and teeth)

Making drinking water fun

Available in 10 x 250ml Kids multipacks, Ishka Irish Spring Water is perfect for lunchboxes and backpacks

Ishka Irish Spring Water is the perfect spring water for kids, tested by real-life mums and their kids. Ideal for lunchboxes and backpacks, this healthy alternative comes in a Kids fun-size bottle for small hands with a kid-friendly sports cap. It’s available in 10 x 250ml multipacks, allowing mums and dads to stock up in advance of hectic school weeks.

Ishka is proud to make drinking water fun for kids. The brand has also taken another step forward in its mission to provide healthy hydration choices in environmentally sustainable ways.

Much work at Ishka Irish Spring Water goes into thinking about the packaging used for its water. Ishka has chosen to use PET because it is still the most environmentally sustainable option.

The business is committed to minimising its environmental impact through a range of initiatives, including rPET and lightweighting.

This means that all Ishka bottles are 100% recyclable. Lightweight BPA-free plastics are used, which are both convenient and recyclable. What’s more, Ishka’s PET bottles are blown on-site, reducing additional road miles.

In fact, Ishka was the first Irish spring water brand to introduce a 100% recycled PET bottle. Another ‘feather in its cap’ so to speak, is that Ishka was actually the first bottled water company in Ireland to introduce tethered caps, three years ahead of the EU directive. Overall, Ishka says the company is determined to do all it can as a business to drive the necessary change in consumer behaviour to help solve our global waste problem and protect marine life.

The 40-year success story of Ishka Irish Spring Water, since 1978, has been due to its relentless drive for perfection in production and service to its valued customers – retail, wholesale, food service and vending. Flowing from its exclusive on-site natural springs and bottled on-site, in Ballyneety, County Limerick, Ishka Irish Spring Water certified spring water is unprocessed and untreated for maximum health and wellness benefits – just as Mother Nature intended.

Pure, authentic goodness

Ishka Still Irish Spring Water is naturally pure and low in sodium, rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium. With a naturally balanced pH of 7.3, Ishka’s water is naturally pure, crisp, healthy and delicious, with nothing added for taste or enhanced with extras. The company simply bottle it at source and preserve its natural quality and taste. Guaranteed Irish product, Ishka Irish Spring Water, is now stocked in all main nationwide wholesalers and retailers from 250ml to 5L, in flat and sports cap formats.

Ishka also provides a wide range of easy-to-store spring water multi-packs, making it convenient for shoppers to stay hydrated across a whole range of occasions.

Licenced by the HSE, FSAI and Guaranteed Irish, Ishka is also a member of Repak and Team Green.

For further information on any of Ishka’s product ranges, contact or telephone 061- 450705.

Taste of real homemade soup

Avonmore soups are showing the highest growth of the category, at +29% volume MAT year-on-year*

As the back-to-school routine returns, Avonmore Soup strives to provide those busy on-the-go families with beautiful, fresh ingredient soup options that really capture the taste of real homemade soup!

Avonmore’s standard 1kg and 400g family friendly soup cartons, do not only provide the consumer with an instantly delicious meal solution, but can also form a fantastic base for many recipes that consumers can find on the website. Recipes such as lamb rogan josh, Spanish style chicken casserole, Thai style chicken curry and many more!

Avonmore Soup is passionate about supporting the time-poor Irish consumer with super convenient, family meal solutions that do not sacrifice on taste or quality. It’s no wonder Avonmore soups are showing the highest growth of the category, at +29% volume MAT year-on-year*.

*(Source: Nielsen, TS, MAT 27 March 2022)

A super option for nutrients

Avonmore Super Milk is enriched with added vitamins D, B, E, extra calcium and folic acid

Avonmore Super Milk is a significant growth brand within the fresh milk category. Enriched with added vitamins D, B, E, extra calcium and folic acid, Avonmore Super Milk contains more of these important nutrients than fresh milk. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium from food and drink which is important for maintaining bone and muscle health and also helps support a healthy immune system.

Research shows that amongst children aged 5-12 years old in Ireland, approximately 37% are not consuming enough calcium and 94% are not consuming enough Vitamin D*. Available in 1.75L, 1L and 500ml sizes, Avonmore Super Milk is a must-stock item for the busy back to school period.

*(Source: IUNA 2018).

Fabulous flapjacks

A delicious crunchy wholesome oaty snack, Flahavan’s Flapjacks are enjoyed by all the family

Baked in Flahavan’s bakery, beside its famous mill in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, Flahavan’s Flapjacks are available in a range of delicious flavours. These include Original, Chocolate Chip, Cranberry & Orange, and Dark Chocolate & Orange and the newest addition, Chocolate & Hazelnut. The latter is created using the highest quality Belgian dark chocolate and roasted Italian hazelnut pieces

Flahavan’s sources the finest quality Irish oats from local growers based within a 60-mile radius of its mill and bakes its flapjacks to perfection using an age-old family recipe, resulting in a delicious crunchy wholesome oaty snack, enjoyed by all the family.

Flahavan’s has created a great, attention-grabbing stand for displaying its flapjacks

Made with wholegrain Irish oats, not only are Flahavan’s Flapjacks a source of fibre, but they are also vegan friendly and individually wrapped for convenience, making these Waterford-baked treats a perfect fuss-free addition to lunchboxes.

What’s more, they are available in a variety of formats for retail, including a 6 x 40g retail pack and 24 x 40g individual bars. An exciting new format is also set to launch in September.

So, whether your customers are ‘t-oat-ally’ Original fans or love a Belgian Choc Chip fix, keeping energy levels up has never been easier.

Immunity for kids

Providing goodness for immune systems, new Actimel* for kids is launching with perfect timing ahead of the back to school season.

Available in two delicious flavours, Strawberry Banana and Peach, every shot of Actimel is bursting with 10 billion l.casei cultures and is rich in vitamin D which helps support the immune system. Actimel for kids is also a source of calcium, rich in Vitamin D and contains no sweeteners.

Available in playful colourful packs, a new lunchbox hero has arrived on the scene! The launch follows a unique moment of relevance for the Actimel brand over the past two years as consumers awareness and knowledge around Immune support increases. A brand that has always been famous for supporting the immune system, Actimel has experienced phenomenal growth over the last few years.

All consumers need do is just shake it up and drink it down to give the day their best shot!  Actimel meanwhile has a huge support plan to give the important ‘back to school’ season its best shot.

*(Actimel contains Vitamins B6 and D to help support the normal function of the immune system)

*(Enjoy as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle)

Stationery anything but stationary!

By allocating a designated space for stationery as an everyday category, retailers can gain strong impulse sales. This is particularly true during the crucial back to school season, when stationery lines are anything but stationary – instead, quality brands are jumping off the shelves!

The impact of grocery inflation is being felt nationwide right now. As prices for essentials rise, consumers are feeling the pinch on their pockets. That’s why, when it comes to back-to-school spending, there’s no doubt many parents will be looking to stretch their back-to-school budget further this year, and one area where shoppers will look to snag a deal is stationery. From notebooks and rulers to coloured pencils and folders, the list of must-haves is lengthy, so retailers should ensure they don’t get caught without the essentials, and stock everything needed for third level students.

While pricing is obviously a factor, stationery – particularly in schools with prescribed uniforms, schoolbags and even shoes – is an area where kids can often express their personality and impress their classmates with a cool pencil case or nifty pens! As such, they may often be willing to spend their own pocket money or savings on stationery options and brands that pass muster with their peers. Exciting new stationery options and formats can also inject some real fun and positive anticipation into how kids plan for their return back to school after the seemingly endless summer break.

Research on stationery in the USA has also raised an interesting point. reports on market research firm The NPD Group which showed that for the five weeks ending 7 August 2021, sales for back-to-school items – including notebooks, colored pencil sets and crayons—were up 21% compared to the same period in 2020. Sales for kindergarten to grade six supplies for that same period were up 50% year over year. According to NPD, some of this growth is due to pandemic precautions like children being told not to share supplies. In fact, teachers reported they expect 73% of students will bring their own crayons to school in 2021, compared to 49% in previous years. While these are obviously American statistics, schools across the globe have had to adopt similar hygiene measures as the Omicron variant unfortunately continues to spread.

Reach for the stars!

Reach Stationery offers market-leading brands

Reach Stationery is a leading supplier of stationery lines to retail. Reach boasts an extensive range of market-leading brands including Supreme, Bic, Staedtler, Crayola, Pukka, Stabilo, Milan, Sellotape and more. It offers competitive pricing with next day delivery and ease of online ordering.


From school bags to staplers, calculators to copy books and maths sets to multi-colour pens, Reach Stationery has everything retailers need to cater for primary, secondary and third level students. Reach Stationery also offers great prices on copier paper, till and Visa roll all-year round.

To view the full range offered by Reach Stationery, go to If you don’t already have an account, the online account set up process is simple, enabling you to start shopping right away.

Highly competitive offering

Solv-X offers convenience retailers a combination of over 100 quality own brand products plus brands such as Bic, Papermate, Loctite, Sellotape and Helix to maximise retailers’ sales and profitability.

Solv-X has a suite of planogram options for stationery up to its largest 3m display

With own brand sales growing strongly in all categories, the Solv-X own brand range allows convenience retailers to be highly competitive on quality and value with specialist stationery suppliers and discounters.

Stationery was to the forefront in the growth in convenience non-food sales during the pandemic and postage and packaging stationery continues to benefit from the growth in online home trading.

Similarly, arts and crafts continues to warrant extra space in stationery planograms.

Solv-X has a suite of planogram options up to its largest 3m display, with even smaller convenience stores increasingly allocating a designated space for stationery as an everyday category that can gain strong impulse sales.

With the Solv-X own brand range, convenience retailers can be highly competitive on quality and value

The full range of Solv-X stationery can be ordered via your local area manager or online at; telephone 042 9377055.







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