With the new school year just around the corner, consumers are looking for new healthier snacks to fill lunchboxes. Find out how one brand is cornering the market in cheese snacks and what opportunities can boost your sales.

With only 1.6% of kids’ packed lunches meeting the Government’s School Food Standards1, and Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework suggesting headteachers introduce a “healthy packed lunch policy”, nutritional packed lunches are high on the media agenda. This offers a healthy sales opportunity for retailers, as parents seek out healthier lunchbox options.

The cheese category in the UK has an estimated market worth of £3.46 billion and with snacking cheese being a firm favourite in kids’ lunchboxes, retailers can capitalise on this during the key back-to-school period by stocking recognisable brands, with effective ranging catering to varied customer needs and missions.

A healthy sales opportunity

Babybel long holds pole position as a lunchbox staple. As the No.1 cheese snack in the lunchbox category2, it’s a must stock for retailers looking to boost their back-to-school sales.

Babybel is a fun, portion controlled, real cheese snack and great source of protein and calcium, making it perfect for part of a balanced lunchbox. A 20g serving of Babybel Original contains 29% less fat than cheddar and 59 calories, it also adheres to Public Health England’s recommended calorie cap for children’s snacks.

As parents seek out healthier lunchbox additions, this offers a strong sales opportunity for retailers. 

Offering a range of formats to meet various shopper missions, including Original, Light, and Plant-Based, the recent addition of the Mini Babybel Original two-pack format, specifically designed to cater for the convenience channel and food-to-go opportunity, has already demonstrated +67.5% YOY growth3 and is now Babybel’s second fastest growing SKU4.

Indeed, recent retailer studies demonstrated a 240% incremental sales uplift when the new Mini Babybel Original two-pack format was added to the current range.

Following a visit from a Babybel field sales rep, store manager of J. Robarts & Son Ltd in Hertfordshire, Nick Chalkley, decided to introduce the new Mini Babybel Original two-pack format putting into practice category insights provided by the brand rep to improve sales. Chalkley saw a 240% value sales increase, with a predicted annual sales increase of £8155.

Introducing the new Mini Babybel Original two-pack format to meet snacking missions, complementing the six net for a lunchbox and at-home sharing occasions. Bringing grouped lunch and snacking options together, as well as similar cheese categories to make the fixture easier to shop. These simple changes enticed shoppers to try something new within the dairy and food-to-go chilled fixtures.

Cheese Interaction After

“It’s fantastic to see such strong sales increases due to the changes we have made. In fact, Nick saw an increase across his cheese category worth over £2,150 per year. 48% of consumers seek brands when looking for quality in food to go6, so adding the new Mini Babybel Original two-pack to stores can help retailers to meet different snacking missions, driving interest in the category and boosting sales,” says Babybel.

Nick says: “Grouping the category products together has made both fixtures much easier to shop. The sales increase on the Mini Babybel Original two-pack is great and a third of my sandwich lines have increased also. I’m delighted that the six net in the dairy fixture has increased by 192% too.”

Further trials, introducing the new Mini Babybel Original two-pack format as a standalone SKU to stores not yet stocking the brand, have also seen predicted annual sales increases of over £550.

Research also shows over 20% of children in the UK are either already vegan or would like to become vegan in the near future7, so Babybel Plant-Based is also available for those packing vegan-friendly lunchboxes.

Tips to boost your back to school sales

1. Capitalise on seasonal opportunities, like summer snacking and back to school, to attract customers to the chiller

2. Stock bestselling lines, like Mini Babybel Original, in a highly visible location to maximise sales opportunities. Maximise visibility with PoS to showcase new products and to make your display noticeable

3. Cater to increasing consumer demands for healthier snacks by offering portion controlled, high-protein options

4. Drive impulse sales by introducing a secondary siting of top-selling dairy lines like Babybel next to crisps, lunchtime snacks or sandwiches

5. Stock varied formats to meet different shopper missions. For example, position the convenient grab-and-go Mini Babybel Original two-pack format in the food to go area and the larger packs in the wider cheese and dairy fixture

Get your portion of back to school sales

As the UK’s No.1 cheese spread portion8, with over 380,000 triangles bought every day9, The Laughing Cow offers a healthy back to school sales opportunity for retailers.

With The Laughing Cow’s triangles well within Public Health England’s recommended calorie cap for children’s snacks, the brand’s wide range of formats, including Extra Light, Blue Cheese, and Dip & Crunch, are ideal for parents seeking healthier snacking options for kids’ lunchboxes. What’s more, the x8 pack is also perfect for top-up shops, boosting incremental basket spend.

To find out more visit https://www.bel-uk.co.uk/


1 Evans, C.E.L., et al., 2020. A repeated cross-sectional survey assessing changes in diet and nutrient quality of English primary school children’s packed lunches between 2006 and 2016. BMJ Open 10, e029688. https://doi.org/10.1136/ bmjopen-2019-029688 25. Holford, A. and Rabe, B., 2
2 IRI Total Grocery + Discounters, 52 w/e 25 Mar, 2023
3 IRI Total Grocery 52 we 10th Sept 2022
4 IRI All Outlets Value Sales 52 w/e May 2023
5 Undertaken by New Trade Media Ltd on behalf of Bel UK Ltd
7 IGD Food-To-Go Summit
8 BBC Good Food Nation survey
9 IRI Total Grocery + Discounters, 52 w/e 25 Mar 23
10 IRI, Unit sales total market, MAT Dec 25th 2022