Snacks & Sports Drinks Are Back-to-School Top Sellers
NEW YORK — With the lazy, hazy days of summer behind them, parents are stocking up on back-to-school top sellers like snacks and sports drinks.
Tracking the five-week back-to-school period, the latest Nielsen Insights found that when it comes to the fresh produce category, apples take the top spot with $243.5 million in sales. Strawberries and fresh cut fruit aren’t far behind, with sales of $202.8 million and $204.9 million, respectively.
Mangoes, on the other hand, are driving the most sales growth in the back-to-school season. From 2015 to 2016, mango sales in the five weeks around back-to-school grew more than 73 percent, topping sales of $22.5 million.
Moving to the center store, sports drinks made a sizeable jump during the five-week period, with sales 35 percent higher than the average week of the year. Prepackaged items that make preparing breakfasts, snacks or lunches more conveniently are seeing a boost, too. Cookie snacks and variety packs, pop-up toaster pastries, hummus and brownies round out the five top over-indexing products in the center of the store, according to Nielsen.
Parents are also increasingly looking at ingredient lists and paying close attention to what’s in and not in the items they buy. The latest Nielsen research found that consumers spend 37 percent more on sports drinks that are free of artificial sweeteners and spend 19 percent more on items free of sugar in the five weeks surrounding the first days of school. Sports drinks with antioxidant properties (29 percent), low in sodium (29 percent) and are free from artificial colors (25 percent) also benefit from the back-to-school period with higher weekly sales.
Across the U.S., retailers and manufacturers looking to bolster sales in the sports drinks category may want to focus on driving awareness of healthful ingredient attributes parents may not be aware of, Nielsen stated.