7 Lunch-Box Heroes

School bus

As school bells ring across the United States and those big yellow buses fill up, parents with young children are figuring out ways to make lunch boxes healthier, fun-filled and diversified across snack types. And convenience stores have a chance to help with lunch-box-filling solutions.  

Lunch-box-friendly products of all types have been rolling out with the start of back-to-school season. Brands such as Flowers Foods, Greyston Bakery and Otis Spunkmeyer are innovating with new offerings. Rollouts are also geared toward consumers seeking foods and beverages to support their mini-meal eating regimen.

What follows are seven new releases that fit snugly into lunch boxes as the kids march back to school.

Otis Spunkmeyer

Otis Spunkmeyer, San Leandro, Calif., has introduced a new line of grab-and-go products designed around convenience. The line includes Chocolate Chunk Cookie, Iced Lemon Loaf Cake, Cinnamon Crumb Loaf Cake and Mini Brownie Bites. “We’re seeing that when it comes to snacking, consumers are looking to buy foods containing better-for-you ingredients, no matter where they are, which is why we are introducing our individually wrapped ‘No Funky Stuff’ Grab-N-Go foods,” said Charice Grace, brand manager for Otis Spunkmeyer.

Greyston Bakery

Greyston Bakery

Yonkers, N.Y.-based Greyston Bakery introduced an individually-wrapped Harvest cookie, a take on the classic oatmeal raisin walnut cookie. It is made with non-GMO ingredients. 

Flowers Foods

Flowers Foods

Another take on the single-serve cookie comes from Thomasville, Ga.-based Flowers Foods and East Hanover, N.J.-based Mondelez International, which partnered to introduce a new Mrs. Freshley’s brownie made with Oreo cookie pieces. The 3-ounce brownie, studded with Oreo cookie pieces, is sold individually and available at convenience stores, some grocery stores and vending machines. Mrs. Freshley’s also introduced two birthday-cake-themed treats: The Birthday Cake Bar and Birthday Cake Mini Donuts.

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly

Kids love a tiny, sweet lunch-box surprise. Jelly Belly, Fairfield, Calif., partnered with DC Entertainment for a new range of sweets featuring superheroes Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman on the packaging. The jelly beans are currently available in the following flavors: berry blue, blueberry, cream soda, sour lemon, very cherry and wild blackberry. 

World Finer Foods

GoCo Crunchy Coconut Bites

GoCo Crunchy Coconut Bites from the Liberty Richter Division of World Finer Foods, Bloomfield, N.J., are made from lightly toasted coconuts that are pressed into bite-sized pieces. The snacks come in Simply Coconut, Roasted Sesame Seed and Roasted Chia Seed. They are gluten-free, low in sodium and contain no added sugar.


Apple Streusel Coffee Cakes

Hostess, Kansas City, Mo., has added new flavors to its Donettes and Coffee Cakes on-the-go snack lines. Cinnamon Sugar Crunch Donettes are topped with cinnamon, sugar and crunchy crumbs, and Apple Streusel Coffee Cakes have an apple flavor and are topped with sugar crumb streusel. 

Tree Top

Fruit & Grains and Fruit & Veggies pouches

Tree Top, Selah, Wash., has added Fruit & Grains and Fruit & Veggies pouches to its product mix. The Fruit & Grain pouches include whole-grain oats and fruit purees in Apple Cobbler and Peach Cobbler flavors, and the Fruit & Veggie pouches combine fruit and vegetables such as sweet potato, beets and carrots. They come in Strawberry Banana and Peach Mango flavors. The pouches contain no artificial ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup and are made with 100% real fruits and veggies. They do not require refrigeration.