It has been a long time since I have stepped foot in a school lunchroom. Although it has been awhile since I packed my Barbie lunch box with a juice box featuring whichever popular cartoon characters graced juice boxes at the time, I still remember some of the staple items that me and my classmates enjoyed.
With increased efforts to offer children healthy-for-you options in the last few years, I imagine that my school lunchroom would be very different than what students are experiencing today.
In this month’s Channel Strategies article about schools, it’s clear that many organizations and people are dedicated to the health and wellness aspect of beverages.
“Companies are committed to maintaining the school channel, and they’re committed to maintaining it with the offerings [approved] in the School Beverage Guidelines,” says Susan Neely, president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association, Washington, D.C.
In addition to existing companies committing to the guidelines, Neely sees the opportunity for new products and companies to enter the marketplace. And she is not the only one. Bill Hargis, president and chief executive officer with 4U2U Brands, Richmond, Va., thinks that the guidelines are helping to create new beverage companies.
But he understands that not all companies will fit into the school channel.
“You’re not going to find what I see as traditional new age beverages on the shelves — they’re not going to be accepted in the schools,” he says. “It’s kind of a neat concept, but you better have the right product or it won’t work.”
If this holds true, it will be exciting to see what new beverage companies and products will be packed in lunch boxes.