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Most parents are concerned about saving money and time, and providing nutritious foods for their families that fit into their household budgets, according to the new Supervalu Back-to-Routine Survey, which looks at the mealtime habits and concerns of American families with school-age children.
The survey, conducted for the Minneapolis-based grocer by Harris Interactive, also shows that children play a large role in what goes into their meals, whether it’s influencing the meal decision all together or personally being responsible for their own breakfast.
Supervalu created the survey to gauge how families with school-age children approach various meal occasions and what their needs are during the busy school year.
According to the inaugural Back-to-Routine Survey, 68 percent of parents list “saving money” as their top food-related concern entering the new school year. Other top concerns among parents nationwide include “finding healthy foods on a budget” (52 percent), “making mealtime preparation easier” (48 percent), “being better prepared for meals” (44 percent) and “figuring out how to pack healthy lunches” (30 percent).
“It’s clear from the survey that today’s parents want nutritious, family-friendly foods that fit their budgets and busy lifestyles,” said Craig Stacey, Supervalu’s director of health and wellness marketing. “As families gear up for the school year, we are focused on providing parents with simple, affordable food solutions and tasty, nutritious meal ideas that help them ease back into their school-year routines.”
The survey found that 74 percent of children have some or a lot of influence on the meals their parents make, and 54 percent of kids fend for themselves in the kitchen for breakfast.
Results also show that the foods kids eat throughout the day end up falling into the same-old-meal doldrums, with cereal preferred for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and fruit after school.
At lunchtime, roughly one-fourth of children nationwide bring a bag lunch to school all five days of the week. The top reasons parents say they pack lunches are to save money (50 percent), to have peace of mind knowing what their children are eating (41 percent) and to provide a nutritious meal for their kids because they don't believe that schools provide them (35 percent).
Among those who carry bag lunches, 93 percent contain sandwiches. Other top lunch box choices, in rank order, include fruit or fruit juices, salty snacks such as potato chips and crackers, cookies or dessert items, vegetables and dairy products such as milk, yogurt or cheese.
After school, fruits or fruit juices are the most frequently served snack, indicating parents’ preference for providing healthy snacks for their kids.
When asked if the amount of money spent on food this year has changed compared with the prior year, 62 percent of parents reported that they are spending about the same. Nearly one-third of parents say they are spending more than last year.
The Back-to-Routine Survey also took a closer look at the mealtime routines of people living in markets where its family of stores are located, including the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area; Boise, Idaho; Boston; Chicago; Las Vegas; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Orange County/Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Norfolk, Va.; St. Louis; and San Diego. Click here to see key findings from survey results in these markets.
Supervalu operates 4,270 stores including 1,160 traditional retail stores. The company’s family of grocery stores includes Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ‘n Save, and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.