With school out for some and the summer holidays around the corner for others, it might seem a bit early to talk about going back to school, but next to Christmas and the connected sales period, back to school is one of the biggest expenses for shoppers with children. 

With summer holidays to pay for and school uniforms and equipment to buy, autumn  expenses put a great strain on the finances of families across the UK. What this means to shoppers is that their habits start to change as families return to their work/school routines.

This can involve many more meal sittings occurring during the week, and convenience meals and convenience shopping becoming top of the agenda. It also signals a return to making packed lunches.
With 87% of shoppers using their c-store for ‘convenience’ over this demanding period, retailers need to understand the needs of their shoppers more than ever. A third of shoppers that HIM spoke to as part of its Convenience Tracking Programme have kids in the household, so promotions and merchandising products targeted to them would be a very clever way of utilising the strengths of our channel.

When thinking about your packed lunch offer it is important to have products that appeal to both parents and their kids. The kids have an influence over what their parents buy, but parents are becoming increasingly conscious of what they put into their children’s lunchboxes, and healthy options remain the main focus; 46% said that they would be eating more healthily in the next 12 months.

Paying attention to shopper missions is vital to sales. Some 69% of shoppers want associated products merchandised together, and seasonal promotions and events are a prime opportunity to increase sales by doing this effectively. Targeting the top-up shopper and meal for tonight can be especially effective at this time of year as 34% of those with children top up at a c-store.