Kids may be worried about homework, teachers and that pesky bully this school year. But parents? They're leery about lunches.
With food prices rising and packages shrinking, parents are wondering how they'll stretch their food budgets. Children are going to get an unwitting lesson in economics, analysts say, as parents change their food-buying habits to keep costs down.
This year's lunchroom will be less about convenience and more about the bottom line, said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior research analyst with Mintel International in Chicago. Parents will be shopping for deals but still wanting all the basics — fruits, veggies, proteins and fun things like chips and cookies. It won't be easy, she said.