The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group will be setting up ads and promotions on some of its most snack- and lunchbox-friendly items for back-to-school this year, says Audrey Desnoyers, national business development representative manager/sales manager.

Those items include the Ocean Spray range of berries and easy-peel citrus, Zespri SunGold kiwifruit, Envy apples and Jazz apples. Oppy’s back-to-school promotions typically start in mid-August and run through September, Desnoyers says.

While they came on the scene a few years ago, Oppy is still introducing SunGold kiwifruit to new consumers all the time, she says. “It’s the ideal lunchbox treat with its fuzz-free exterior and mellow sweet interior that’s as easy as ‘scoop and enjoy.’”

While supplies of stone fruit and other domestic fruit are beginning to decline as back-to-school time approaches, kiwifruit, citrus and apples are plentiful, Desnoyers says. 

“This great upsurge and enthusiasm for imported kiwi and citrus and autumn apples begins because consumers are looking for that next taste profile after summer and in general, people associate back-to-school with these snack items,” she says. “It’s a great reason for us to promote these delicious items as tasty, healthy snack alternatives for busy parents seeking nutritious options for their kids going into the school year and beyond.”

Back-to-school promotions have changed because of the rise in popularity of different items like easy-peelers, small-sized apples and kiwifruit, Desnoyers says.

“Nowadays we think more about single-serve options and easy-to-eat items when thinking about how to market them, especially for back-to-school. I also notice more and more retailers are using shipper units to call out promotional items and developing specific themed shipper units that have an emphasis on back-to-school.”



1.         Merchandising muscle. Emphasis back-to-school by using back-to-school themed shippers for highlighted products.

2.        Small is beautiful. Stock and promote plenty of easy-peelers, kiwifruit, small apples and other fruits perfect for young consumers.

3.        Don’t forget the older “kids.” Sure, the bulk of your promotions will be geared toward K-12, but think about also attracting college students looking for quick, healthy and delicious snacks.

4.        Healthy push. Back-to-school means back to routines. Make healthful eating part of that routine by educating consumers about easy ways to get fruits or veggies in lunchboxes.

5.        Recipe innovations. Work with your suppliers to deliver entrée, side, salad, snack, smoothie and dessert recipes featuring fruits and veggies to your customers.