Skip to main content

NPD: 64 Percent of Students Will Buy School Lunches

While students will soon don their backpacks, a majority will forgo a lunch box this year, according to new findings from The NPD Group.

A recent “food bite” poll from the Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research company found that found brown-bagging for school lunches is on the decline. In fact, 64 percent of consumers will rely on school-provided lunches for their 6- to 12-year-olds.

Only 28 percent of consumers plan to send their children to school with homemade lunches, and 7 percent plan lunches to come from “other sources.”

Top school-provided items were milk products, with an almost equal split between plain and flavored varieties. Other popular food options included sandwiches, fruit, fruit drinks and vegetables, respectively.

The most popular food-from-home items were sandwiches, followed by fruit, salty snacks and fruit drinks.

“You see people going back to the old ‘standbys’ -- sandwiches, fruit and salty snacks,” said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group. “But it was a surprise to me that children are ordering from the school lunch program things they wouldn’t get from home.”

These items include pizza (No. 6), chicken (No. 7) and French fries (No. 10).

NPD conducts more than 40 different studies that track American daily eating trends in over 300 households.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds