Lunch Box Report Card: Majority of Kids in Grades 3-12 Give Their Lunch on a Typical School Day a ‘C’ Grade or Lower

- Finding variety and healthier options is a struggle for both parents and kids

(Graphic: Business Wire)

BERKELEY, Calif.--()--Across U.S. households, parents suffer from widespread “lunch box preparation fatigue,” while kids attest that their lunches are only “average,” if not worse. In a recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of brands Annie’s®, HONEST® Kids, Organic Valley and Stonyfield among 1,066 U.S. students in grades 3-12, 54 percent gave their lunch on a typical school day a “C” grade or lower, while only eight percent helped someone else – such as mom or dad -- prepare their lunch.

To compare sentiments between kids and their parents, the companies also conducted separate national online and phone polls in May and June, 2013 of 8,655 parents and 532 of their children in grades kindergarten through 12 via SurveyMonkey. These polls found that the majority of kids (53 percent) bring their lunch to school, but 54 percent also noted a lack of variety in their lunch boxes. In addition, 43 percent of kids polled say they trade items from their lunch two or three times per week.

To tackle the challenges and complaints of adults and children, the four companies teamed up to create "Rock the Lunch Box," a free online resource that delivers ideas, inspiration and nutritional advice to improve packed lunches that are not making the grade.

According to the SurveyMonkey parent’s poll, top findings include:

  • 70 percent struggle with providing new or a variety of items
  • 59 percent desire healthier options
  • 45 percent find it challenging to pack items that keep well until lunch time

Additionally, children in grades K-12 reported the following via SurveyMonkey:

  • 84 percent prefer bringing their lunch from home, while only 17 percent “like” their school’s lunch
  • 55 percent receive practically the same items in their lunch box every day
  • 39 percent confirmed their parents are not aware that they throw lunch items away

“Kids are hungry for good-tasting food at lunch and parents are in search of healthy options that they can quickly assemble,” said Sarah Bird, Chief Mom Officer at Annie’s. “With our partners HONEST Kids, Organic Valley and Stonyfield, our Rock the Lunch Box site provides parents with lunch preparation tips that are simple, save time and are both delicious and healthy.”

Rock the Lunch Box

Just in time for back to school, the website includes:

  • More than 100 lunch ideas for what to pack, including gluten-free, nut-free and vegetarian choices
  • Informative, short video clips by parents that explain how to keep menus creative, packing time short, and involve kids and more
  • Ideas for staying connected to children during the day via notes and lunch box messages

The collaborative site enables parents to share their lunch preparation tactics and learn from other parents via:

  • Exploring lunch box favorites and recipes of other like-minded parents
  • Submitting “too cool for school” lunch box ideas and entering to win a lunch sack full of goodies from each participating company
  • Shareable savings of up to $2.00 with coupons from Annie’s, HONEST Kids, Organic Valley and Stonyfield

For more information, please visit Follow the conversation with #RockTheLunchBox.

About the National Surveys

  • Harris Interactive YouthQuery Survey Methodology
    Harris Interactive® conducted the survey online within the United States from June 13-26, 2013, among 1,066 8 to 18-year-old students in grades 3-12. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental education, education, urbanicity and region. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, please contact
  • Additional Methodology
    The companies conducted an online survey via SurveyMonkey in May 2013 of 8,655 parents with children under the age of 18 and a SurveyMonkey phone poll in June 2013 of 532 children in grades K-12 of the parents surveyed the month prior.

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Access Communications
Katie Warmuth, 415-844-6290


Access Communications
Katie Warmuth, 415-844-6290