Biggest Back to School Trends: Staying Safe and Healthy

Articles
September 08, 2009

Biggest Back to School Trends: Staying Safe and Healthy

It’s doubtful the mean girls in Tina Fey’s ‘high school’ movie would cut any students slack if they weren’t ‘up’ on the trends the cliques deemed most worthy.

It’s doubtful the mean girls in Tina Fey’s ‘high school’ movie would cut any students slack if they weren’t ‘up’ on the trends the cliques deemed most worthy. Unfortunately for the mainstream kids (and their moms and dads who foot the bill), this Back to School season has been a tough strain on the wallet.

Lackluster sales have been the most common reports. Some shoppers have been buying BTS essentials on layaway - stalling the season that’s supposed to shake retailers free from the summer doldrums.

What’s hot on the must-buy list, however, has nothing to do with style, but emphasizes health. Concerns over the H1N1 virus have led shoppers to stock up on hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. For example, sales of hand sanitizers soared by 99% in the second quarter to $43.8 million, showed IRI data, as noted by Deutsche Bank in Ad Age coverage. Household inventory is apparently so high that sales were flat in the four weeks ended August 9 at $9.2 million - but an uptick in media coverage of the disease could cause another run on store shelves.

School authorities such as Elon University in North Carolina suggested that students come prepared with thermometers, tissues, fever reducers, cold/flu medications, hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes, reported Ad Age.

Meanwhile, keeping safe tops the list of food-related trends for this school season, according to research done by The Food Channel and the International Food Futurists. For example:

•    Lunch carriers that keep foods at a safe temperature, but are also designed with style.
•    Reusable polyester snack bags - or recycled, biodegradable or compostable plastic bags to keep the kids green.
•    Local, fresh fruits and vegetables bought with the kids at the farmer’s market, so they’re sensitive to the source.
•    Nutritionally fortified and purified waters, in thermal bottles.
•    Antioxidant-rich foods that help students compete in class, eat healthier, and get off the obesity train.
•    Moms Twittering each other (and see the mamapedia.com site) and sharing ideas for school lunches and snacks.

The good news, in our view at SupermarketGuru.com:  It takes little more effort to instill better dietary and safe food handling behaviors in children than it does to send children to school with the likes of processed meats and chips. Keeping safe is a mentality that will serve youth well as they learn to manage their environments and eating habits growing up.