School rules!


Expensive school supplies make back to school a costly time for parents when money is tight.


Brand Central

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10 July 2014

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Expensive textbooks and uniforms make the back to school period a costly time for parents, when securing value for money is crucial. At the start of the school year, parents’ minds are also turning to how they can help their child concentrate and get the most out of their school day, which is why nutritious, brain-boosting foods are a lunchbox must-have, writes Gillian Hamill


  • The natural cheese market is worth €102m of which sliced and grated are worth €32m. The grated market accounts for 25% and the sliced market accounts for 18% (Source: MAT Apr 20/14)
  • Kilmeaden won two gold awards at the Irish Cheese Awards. Kilmeaden Smooth and Mature was awarded Gold in the Creamery Mature Cheddar category and Kilmeaden Mature Cheddar won Gold in the Creamery Cheddar category this year.
  • Danone Actimel is Ireland’s favourite drinking yogurt
  • The children’s biscuit market is worth €10.1m* and is growing by +19% (Source: Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 27 April 2014)
  • The savoury biscuit market is up 9% in value year-to-date* and is the fastest-growing snack food category *(Source AC Nielsen May 2014)
  • Veronica’s Crunchy Creatures have 40% less fat than competing cheese corn snack brands
  • The kid’s smoothie market is now worth €5m and Innocent continues to be the clear market leader with 85% market share (Source: AC Nielsen, Kids smoothie market, value MAT share, data to 18 May 2014)

The skinny on Sandwich Thins

ThinsThe health conscious Irish shopper has a strong desire to try new products, hence the success of products like wraps, bagels, and more recently the new category, sandwich thins. Customers are looking for tasty and nutritious alternatives to traditional bread and have a strong desire to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

ThinsJohnston Mooney & O’Brien’s Sandwich Thins are perfect for adults who are interested in leading a healthy balanced lifestyle but do not want to compromise on taste. Low in fat and sugar and a good source of fibre and protein, Sandwich Thins come in three varieties; Multiseed, Chia & Sesame and Goodness of Both – guaranteeing both great taste and nutrition. They contain only 90-110 calories per Thin.

ThinsThe NPD launch support for the new range includes an extensive TV and outdoor campaign and a complete plan of digital activities and initiatives. The launch will be endorsed by David Gillick, Olympic athlete and most recently Celebrity Master Chef Winner 2013 as brand ambassador. Gillick will feature in both the TV and outdoor campaigns, along with delivering product demonstrations in a number of select stores.

In addition there will be a strong below-the-line (BTL) plan to support the launch, which will involve product demonstrations at Unislim meetings, boot camps and selected retail outlets.  The BTL goal is to create new product awareness, drive widespread consumer trial and ultimately create brand advocates.

Eating more Avonmore

AvonmoreThe natural cheese market is a valuable category worth €102m of which sliced and grated are worth €32m. The grated market accounts for 25% and the sliced market accounts for 18% (Source: MAT Apr 20/14).

Back to school is a key time to stock up on both Avonmore Slices and Grated for lunchbox solutions, after school snacks and family meals. The beauty of the Avonmore Cheese range lies in its convenience for the entire family, its versatility and its many uses throughout the day. Each variant is colour coded on-pack to ensure consumers can easily distinguish between variants and shop the cheese category easily. All grated packs include recipe ideas so rustling up a healthy, nutritious meal for the family is easy with Avonmore Cheese. All packs in the Avonmore range are re-sealable for added convenience and freshness.

Avonmore Cheese is a long standing family favourite, a highly recognised and trusted Irish brand. As a household staple in many homes across the country, the brand believes Avonmore Cheese is a must- stock item for retailers nationwide.

Gold award-winning cheeses

KilmeadenKilmeaden is the number one branded cheese block in Ireland, a cheese made from a traditional recipe unique to Kilmeaden that has been in use for over 40 years. Kilmeaden is also a proud supporter of the independent food organisation Love Irish Food and carries the logo on all packs.

This year Kilmeaden won two gold awards at the Irish Cheese Awards. Now in their fifth year, the Irish Cheese Awards are the only competition dedicated entirely to Irish cheese and judging is undertaken by an expert panel across 17 different categories.  Kilmeaden Smooth and Mature was awarded Gold in the Creamery Mature Cheddar category and Kilmeaden Mature Cheddar won Gold in the Creamery Cheddar category this year.  Proving it is still a firm favourite, these awards further consolidate Kilmeaden’s position as Ireland’s number one selling block whilst also emphasising its distinctive flavour and unique taste.

The quality and uniqueness of Kilmeaden can be attributed to a strict selection process, which ensures that only the best cheddar is selected. Kilmeaden is made using only summer milk and matured, giving it all the time it needs to develop its distinctive flavour and unique taste.

Kilmeaden is also available in grated and hand cut slices formats which are ideal for sandwiches in school lunch boxes, on ciabattas or bagels at work or melted in tasty toasties for a snack in the evening.

Favourite drinking yogurt

ActimelAs September approaches, back to school is back on the mind of every parent. With the busy school term activities and changeable weather, it’s important to look after the immune system at this key time of year.

Drinking yogurts and yogurts make a great addition to a healthy breakfast and lunchbox and help to meet the recommended three portions of dairy a day.

Danone Actimel, Ireland’s favourite drinking yogurt, provides key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B6, and even vitamin D, essential vitamins that help support the immune system*, which parents know is very important at this time of year. Danone Actimel also contains 10 billion L. casei cultures, and is available in seven flavours, including two fat free varieties.

In September, Danone Actimel will be supported with a heavyweight marketing campaign called ‘Breakfast for the immune system’*. Our TV advertising will connect with Irish families and remind them of the benefits of looking after their immune system. Our above-the-line (ATL) media will be complemented by strong in-store activation with impactful point of sale, says Colette Coughlan, senior brand manager, Danone Ireland.

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

Shooting ahead


Robinsons Fruit Shoot is the original kids on-the-go drink specially designed for kids.

The Robinsons Fruit Shoot range has no added sugar and is free from artificial colours and flavours; offering mum a great way to keep kids hydrated.

RobinsonsRobinsons Fruit Shoot is perfect for the back to school lunchbox occasion as well as after school activities when kids need a product that can keep up with their busy lives. Robinsons Fruit Shoots are handily packaged in an easy-squeezy sports bottle so they’re ideal for active kids.

Robinsons Fruit Shoot is available in 275ml single serve packs and also four x 200ml and eight x 200ml multipacks. With four great flavours – Orange, Apple & Blackcurrant, Summer Fruits and Apple – there is something for everyone.

Sustained energy release: a lunchbox must


Freddy Fyffes bananas are a convenient, healthy, hassle-free addition to the lunchbox. Containing around 95 calories, very little fat, and brimming with vitamins and minerals, a Freddy Fyffes banana is the perfect snack of choice for today’s children. Freddy’s Fyffes bananas provide a sustained energy release, which is why they are a terrific choice for kids’ lunchboxes, helping to keep children sharp and alert during school hours. Supplied in its own biodegradable packaging, parents can simply pop it in the lunchbox and that’s it.

FreddyThe Freddy Fyffes bagged banana product was developed specifically for primary school children with small bananas being specially selected because they are just the right size to fit into a school lunchbox.  In addition, the newly revamped attractive packaging and the use of the engaging Freddy Fyffes banana character has made this product a firm favourite amongst children. Recent promotional activity with Dublin Zoo, charity partner UNICEF and the launch of the Freddy Fyffes website has also helped to further drive preference for this product so the brand advises retailers to ensure they include Freddy Fyffes bananas on their shelves for the back to school period.

On a roll!

J-O'sJacob’s, Ireland’s favourite biscuits*, introduced the highly successful Jacob’s J-O’s to the market last year. The brand has successfully captured the attention of the Irish public with its crunchy, creamy biscuits and catchy theme tune. Made with a cocoa flavoured biscuit base and top and filled with a sweet vanilla cream, the range includes two tempting varieties: vanilla roll pack and milk chocolate covered snack packs. The children’s biscuit market is worth EUR*10.1m* and is growing by +19% so it’s a massive opportunity for retailers this back to school period.

Given the success of this launch, retailers can expect further fantastic innovation from the Jacob’s brand in 2014.

*(Source: Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 27 April 2014)

Perfect for packed lunches

 Tipperary Kidz is a proud partner of the ISPCC’s Anti-Bullying campaign

A must-stock brand for this year’s back to school period, Tipperary Kidz water is an ideal water for packed lunches and for quick rehydration throughout the day. Designed especially for kids, Tipperary Kidz water comes in an easy to hold bottle with a flip cap for instant refreshment. Not only is it fun for kids, but parents can be happy too in the knowledge that water is the healthiest option for their children. Tipperary Kidz is also the proud partner of the ISPCC’s Anti-Bullying campaign. The campaign aims to help children and young people deal with the impact and challenges of bullying.

 Tipperary Kidz is a proud partner of the ISPCC’s Anti-Bullying campaignTipperary Kidz continues to lead the way in the children’s water category. It is a pure, natural mineral water, winning ten International Gold Medals for taste, quality and excellence from the BBI. Parents can rest assured that their little ones are only getting the very best. Tipperary Kidz is available in a variety of packs including two innovative flavours; Fruit Blast and Tiger Juice. The standard Tipperary Kidz is also available in a handy six pack. Retailers should be on the look-out for the promotional EUR*2.99 price-flashed 10 pack. All promotional packs will be supported with full POS in-store.

Because Taste Matters with Carr’s

Up 9% in value year-to-date* and the fastest-growing snack food category, the savoury biscuit market shows no sign of slowing as United Biscuits continues its strategy to drive strong category growth. United Biscuits was the fastest growing manufacturer within savoury last year driven by the successful launches of Oddities and Flatbreads and 2014 looks to be even stronger as UB embarks on a major re-launch of its savoury portfolio. As part of the overarching masterbrand strategy, UB will be moving all of its savoury brands to sit under the Carr’s masterbrand to help simplify the shopping experience.

Renowned for its quality and a firm favourite with Irish families for generations, Carr’s is now expanding its range further with the launch of a number of exciting new products. The Carr’s masterbrand will continue to drive the savoury biscuits growth by unlocking new occasions and recruiting younger consumers. Available now, the launches include new Carr’s Crispbreads, New Carr’s Cream Cracker range and a flavour refresh with new additions to the Oddities and Flatbread ranges.

Carr’s Oddities – new shapes and flavour

CarrsOdditiesFollowing its successful launch in 2013, the Oddities range is being relaunched under the Carr’s masterbrand. In addition to the popular Salt & Vinegar and Bacon flavours, a new Cheese & Onion flavour is now available, replacing the Sour Cream & Chive flavour. The brand will also be adding more fun by including eight new shapes including: Pineapples, owls, windmills and boats to excite and delight consumers.

Crackers about new snack pack

From the nation’s favourite table water cracker brand comes a new great tasting Carr’s Cream Cracker range. The range consists of three variants including a standard 200g pack, a larger 300g pack and a handy Snack Pack format, which has eight individually wrapped packs for freshness. The new Carr’s Cream Cracker range is perfect for all the family; as an afternoon snacking solution or as a key lunch box component.

Carr’s Cream Crackers are available in three formats; a 200g pack, 300g pack and Snack PackThe Carr’s re-launch will kick-off in July and will be supported with a €1m multi media campaign. A brand new TV ad has been developed by a local Irish advertising agency, DDFH&B to create awareness and drive trial of the new Carr’s ranges. The through-the-line campaign will hit all consumer touch points extending from TV, digital and press to bespoke in-store shopper marketing activity.

There is something from Carr’s to suit every meal time occasion and taste preference, allowing consumers young and old to enjoy Carr’s any way they like.

The brand advises retailers to be sure to stock up now as Carr’s leads the taste revolution in the savoury biscuits aisle.

The RRPs of the new Carr’s range are as follows: Carr’s Cream Crackers 200g (€1.25); Carr’s Cream Crackers 300g (€1.89); Carr’s Cream Crack Snack Pack 185g (€2.29); Carr’s Oddities (€2.49).

*(Source AC Nielsen May 2014)

A Crunchy Creatures invasionCrunchy Creatures contain 40% less fat than competing cheese corn snack brands

A dinosaur-shaped corn snack is set to take Irish lunchboxes by storm, to satisfy growing demand for lower fat snacks and crisps.

Veronica’s Snacks is launching a new range of organic cheese corn snacks under the Crunchy Creatures label. The new children’s range is ideal for the lunch-box market, as they have 40% less fat in them than competing cheese corn snack brands and are aimed at health-conscious parents.

The company is forecasting strong growth for its healthier snack brand, as figures from Safefood suggest that one in four children on the island of Ireland is either overweight or obese.

Tyrano, a T-Rex cartoon character, is the friendly face of the ‘Crunchy Creatures’ baked cheese snacks, which come in bright yellow single pack and multi-pack sizes. More characters and flavours within the ‘Crunchy Creature’ range are joining Tyrano later in the year.

Veronica’s ‘Crunchy Creatures’ is sold in 30g single packs and in multi-packs sizes (five x 15g packs)  and the new website at is being launched shortly for consumers.

Crunchy CreaturesEye-catching point of sale materials and FSDUs have been developed to support the roll-out of the new brand, along with a larger-than-life costumed character for store visits.

Veronica’s Snacks also recently announced a ‘bigger, better’ 120g sharing pack size for its top three selling flavours of baked potato and veggie crisps.

Veronica’s Snacks distributes directly to Musgrave Retail Partners, BWG Foods Ltd and Tesco and through Grocery Brand Solutions for Dunnes Stores. Wild Orchard is the distributor to cafes and independents, while WholeFoods and IIHF are the distributors to health food stores.

Innocent inspiration

Innocent leads the kids smoothie market with 85% market shareThe kid’s smoothie market is now worth a massive €5m and Innocent continues to be the clear market leader with 85% market share.

Made with nothing but fruit and never ever from concentrate, kids love the taste of innocent smoothies and mum loves them because they’re an easy way to get fruit into their little ones plus they count as one of an individual’s five-a-day. As with the entire Innocent range, Innocent smoothies for kids contain no sweeteners, no colourings or preservatives, no additives, no bits and are perfect for lunchboxes.

Innocent smoothies for kids continue to be Ireland’s favourite smoothie brand because of their healthy offering, handy pack size and the many recipes available.

The ever popular alphabet magnets will be returning to special packs of Innocent smoothies for kids from August for a limited time. The back to school period is the busiest time of the year as people re-stock for the beginning of the school term. To support this important time of year, Innocent will be investing in a brand new advertising campaign. There are five recipes in the Innocent smoothies for kids range with an RRP of €4.29 for four x 180ml cartons.

To find our more, visit

*(Source: AC Nielsen, Kids smoothie market, value MAT share, data to 18 May 2014)

Ground-breaking innovation in yogurt

YolliesKerry Foods is set to revolutionise the yogurt category, with new Yollies Yogurt lollies. Yollies are a first to market yogurt on a stick in the chilled category. They are made with extra-thick fruity yogurt, firm enough to stay on a stick, and packaged in convenient, stay-fresh pods to keep their shape. Yollies are made with real fruit purée, contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and are a source of calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for healthy bones. They can also be eaten frozen for a healthy summer treat. Yollies come in three fruity flavours – Raspberry, Strawberry and Apricot, with each Yollie pod featuring one of 16 individual characters. Yollies also have collectable keyring sticks with each having an individual letter for kids to collect their names, or even their favourite football teams. Yollies will be in-store from 7 July.


Q&A with…

Veronica Kenneally at the launch of Crunchy CreaturesVeronica Kenneally, founder of Veronica’s Snacks

How did you decide to get into the food business?

The idea for Veronica’s Snacks came to me during a family picnic in West Cork back in 2012.

I noticed that no matter what delicious and nutritious goodies were laid out on the picnic rug or kitchen table for the kids, as soon as a packet of crisps was produced, the healthy snacks were ignored. I realised something needed to be done about the snack issue, and given my own background in the food business, I felt that I could be the person to help do it.

We launched Veronica’s Snacks in 2012, to offer retailers and consumers a lower fat, healthier range of snacks, which are also gluten-free.

What’s your background of working in the food industry prior to this?

I studied Food Business in UCC and then I became the sales manager for Clona Dairies, a large co-operative based in Cork. I was responsible for over €30m of annual sales across a variety of retail channels and customers.

Can you outline your range of products?

The Veronica’s Snacks brand started off with a range of baked potato crisps in 2012, before expanding into baked veggie crisps in 2013. In June 2014, we launched our latest range – dinosaur-shaped corn snacks for the children’s market, called Crunchy Creatures. They’re 40% less fat than standard corn snacks, so they’re ideal for the lunchbox and picnic market.

The full Veronica’s Snacks range now includes:

  • 120grm Sour Cream Herb & Onion Baked Potato Crisps
  • 120grm BBQ Baked Potato Crisps
  • 120grm Roast Tomato & Spanish Paprika Baked Veggie Crisps
  • 23grm Sour Cream Herb & Onion Baked Potato Crisps
  • 23grm BBQ Baked Potato Crisps
  • 23grm Roast Tomato & Spanish Paprika Baked Veggie Crisps
  • 30grm Veronica’s Crunchy Creatures Baked Corn Cheese Snacks
  • Five x 15grm (multi-pack) Veronica’s Crunchy Creatures Baked Corn Cheese Snacks

What retailers are you stocked in and is it difficult to get a new product stocked?

Retailers have been very supportive of the brand since the very first day.

We are stocked in Tesco, SuperValu, Dunnes Stores, Spar, Eurospar, Mace, and independent health food stores all over Ireland.

This year, we made the breakthrough in the UK and we are now listed with Tesco UK and Harvey Nichols.

It can be a long process getting listed, but once you have an appealing product that consumers are looking for, securing a listing is more straight-forward.

Can crisps really be healthy?

Crisps are a processed food and there are healthier snack options out there, such as fresh fruit.

However, crisps can be made in a healthier way and still taste great.

All the ingredients we use are as natural as possible, the flavourings are all 100% organic and we keep the salt content as low as possible.

As a lower fat and gluten free snack brand, retailers are telling us that our range is ideal for both the snack aisle and the free-from aisle.

Have you any plans for future growth?

We have very ambitious growth plans for Veronica’s Snacks. That plan includes gaining more listings across the UK and entering new markets abroad. We also have new flavours in development, perfect for Irish taste buds!

For more information, visit


Q & A with…

Emilia RyanEmilia Ryan, brand and innovation manager, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien

Who is the target audience for Johnston Mooney & O’Brien’s Sandwich Thins?

The primary target audience for the Sandwich Thins includes adults, 25-44 years-old and in the ABC1C2 socio-economic demographic, with a strong female bias. The target audience are interested in leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle but do not want to compromise on taste.

How will retailers benefit from this new offering and how do you encourage them to support the launch? 

Retailers can benefit from this exciting new offering for a variety of reasons, least of all the competitive price point and a strong promotion calendar which has been carefully put together to support the launch across all of the retailers. Sandwich Thins meet the growing demand from health conscious shoppers for new excitement and variety in the bread category. These new Sandwich Thins have the perfect combination of taste and nutrition and will help keep consumers in the bread aisles.

The bread category is hugely competitive; How do you differentiate your product in such a crowded marketplace?

We invested a lot of time as a business into the strong pack designs which you see on shelf, through extensive focus groups and by working closely with our branding agency, the Brand Union. We have committed a lot of investment into new stand designs for the new range, which we believe are effective in catching the consumer’s eye in a busy space whilst communicating key messages about the product benefits.


Stationery on the move

The ‘fun factor’ still reigns supreme amongst younger consumers who are seeking out innovative, brightly-packaged stationery products to add those extra flourishing touches to all their arts and crafts projects this school term. For older pupils and secondary and third-level students meanwhile, practicality and price will be the key factors in their decision-making process when stocking up for the new term.


BIC is Ireland’s leading stationery brand, with 93% brand awareness in Ireland, higher than any other brand listed (Source: YouGov Plc. June 2014. Sample size was 515 ROI adults)

The BIC Kids range received an average score of 88% product recommendation, based on two studies conducted by Market effect research firm in France in 01-11-2013 (with 227 teachers) and 05-06-2014 (with 387 teachers)

Pritt Stick, the world’s first ever glue stick was introduced in Dusseldorf in 1969. Henkel has since sold over one billion glue sticks in 121 countries

Newspread has a series of promotional back to school offers including branded Helix and Staedtler FSDUs and promotions on its own value brand Notes at 40% retail margin

 A little BIC of magic

BIC Kids Visa felt tip pens can be left uncapped for up to three months without drying out

As students gear up for the new term, they’ll be stocking up their pencil-cases for the new school year. BIC, Ireland’s leading stationery brand*, offers a host of stationery products from BIC Kids colouring ranges to student staples, including the BIC 4 Colours and iconic BIC Cristal.

The BIC kids range offers reliable and fun colouring products that are loved by children and represent value for money; no wonder they’re recommended by teachers**.

The BIC Kids Visa felt tip pens come in vibrant colours and can be left uncapped for up to three months without drying out***. What’s more, stains or smudges can be easily washed out from school uniforms. Another favourite, BIC Kids Tropicolors are wood-free pencils made out of resin, so they won’t shatter if broken, keeping kids’ fingers safe from splinters.

The popular BIC Cristal Mediumpen is the perfect pencil-case companion. With ink which can last up to 3km****, it’s a reliable classroom choice.  With a 1.0mm tip for precision jotting and available in red, blue, black and green, the range of BIC Cristal pens are the perfect back to school buys.

BIC offers a wide range of reliable classroom choicesA student staple, the BIC 4 Colours pen is a back to school essential.  With four coloured pens in one – traditional red, blue, green and black – it’s a great way to inject colour into notes, which can help structure learning.  Now there’s even more choice with extensions to the range.  The BIC 4 Colours Fashion offers a fresh choice of colours – purple, turquoise, pink and lime green – while the BIC 4 Colours Grip Pro provides better comfort thanks to its cushioned grip.

To complete consumers’ back to school splurge, the Tipp-ex Mini Pocket Mouse comes with 5m of tape and an instant rewriting formula for mistake-free schoolwork.

*(Source: BIC has 93% brand awareness in Ireland, higher than any other brand listed. YouGov Plc. June 2014. Sample size was 515 ROI adults)

**(Source: Average score of 88% product recommendation in BIC Kids range, based on two studies conducted by Market effect research firm in France in 01-11-2013 (with 227 teachers) and 05-06-2014 (with 387 teachers))

***(Excludes black ink)

****(SGS testing: average writing length: 3,000 m, Source: SGS tests 2012/2013 for blue and black cartridges)

Pritt – past, present and future

A Pritt Stick is purchased almost every second of the dayThe world’s first ever glue stick was introduced in Dusseldorf in 1969. Henkel has since sold over one billion glue sticks in 121 countries, distinguishing Pritt as a leading global brand. Pritt Sticks have always been immensely popular with children and have become a big hit in office culture too which has revolutionised consumers’ gluing habits. It currently has its best ever formulation as it’s made from 90% natural and renewable resources and is the only glue stick in the market that can make this claim. Over 45 years later, a Pritt Stick is purchased almost every second of the day – testament to the brand’s popularity amongst both children and adults.

Pritt Stick is also up to three times stronger and lasts up to 2.4 times longer than any other glue stick on the market. Famous for bringing us the first ever glue stick, the Pritt range also includes rainbow sticks, liquid glue, correction rollers, glue dots and much more and is perfect for all crafting tasks.

Pritt’s long-term goal is to continue the tradition of coming up with new ideas and concepts that meet the needs of everyday life, for those who use Pritt on a daily basis. Time doesn’t stand still and neither will Pritt; its products will become stronger, faster, safer and more colourful as time goes on, which is why it will always be the nation’s favourite glue.

Convenient online ordering

Newspread has promotional back to school offers including branded Helix and Staedtler FSDUs and on its own value brand NotesNewspread’s online ordering system makes your back to school ordering very easy and convenient. Simply log onto and access your personal account using your account number and unique pin. From there, you can order anything from a top up on a line that’s out of stock in your store to a complete back to school order. Any orders placed before 1pm will qualify for next day delivery. Newspread has a series of promotional back to school offers including branded Helix and Staedtler FSDUs and promotions on its own value brand Notes at 40% retail margin. Watch out for the company’s great price promotions on A4 80gsm copier paper during the back to school season too.














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