Online Exclusives

The Back to School Bump

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | September 2, 2013

Back to school means more than pencils and notebooks. Shopping lists include hand sanitizer and wipes.

This time of year, millions of children are embarking on their first day of school, loaded down with backpacks full pencils, notebooks and glue sticks—and wipes and hand sanitizer bottles too. Like crayons and ballpoint pencils, these products have become staples on school supply lists across the US as teachers and administrators are asking families to help keep classrooms clean and germ-free.
According to data from WSL Strategic Retail, 56% of consumers say they are shopping for healthcare items like hand sanitizers, vitamins and first-aid this back to school season. Consider it a late summer pick-me up for companies that usually see a bounce in sales during cold and flu season. 
According to IRI, sales of hand sanitizers (at US multi-outlets) for the 13 week period ending Sept. 30, 2012 were $59.09 million, up 5.29% over the same period in 2011, and sales of all-purpose household cleaner cloths were $154.6 million, up 7.83%. (For the year ended July 14, 2013, hand sanitizer sales were $187.68 million and all-purpose household cleaner cloths were $559.48 million, according to the Chicago based market research firm.)
“The back-to-school season is about preparing for the upcoming school year and all that comes with it. This includes high-contact and shared environments such as a classroom, where there is the potential for increased exposure to germs,” Anne McNamee, senior brand manager at Germ-X, told
To get into the back-to-school spirit, Germ-X for the second year in a row created a limited edition package on its original and aloe hand sanitizers. But this year, there was a bit of a snafu.
“This year we initially made a mistake in the development of those labels with a misspelling. We saw this as an opportunity to build our Facebook launch and coupon offer around the error. We’re literally going back to school to learn how to spell the word permanent—or is it permenant?” McNamee said, referring to the misspelling on the Germ-X label.
A big player in germ-protection, Lysol will launch the Healthy Habits Program in partnership with the National Education Association and National PTA. The initiative will kick off nationally during the first-ever Healthy Habits Week on Sept. 23.
Via the program’s microsite, teachers and parents can download resources to help teach healthy habits, including ready-to-use lesson plans, a parent activity calendar and materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition, Lysol will also launch the Lysol Healthy Habits Tour, billed by the brand as a science museum on wheels that will visit dozens of schools in September and October and give students an interactive way to learn about health and wellness.
I&I brands also have the back-to-school season marked on their calendars. These experts recognize that an empty classroom doesn’t necessarily mean a clean one.
“It doesn’t take long for germs and bacteria to form and spread when there is no cleaning regiment in place. Back to school cleaning is critical to ensuring a ‘safe harbor’ for the return of children and teachers,” said Rich Bucher, director of ITW Professional Brands, which manufactures Spray Nine disinfectants and Scrubs pre-moistened wipes, among other products for I&I settings.
While bathroom and public areas are normally addressed with regularity, Bucher listed a roster of highly touched objects—door handles, drinking fountains, desks and chairs, play areas and cafeteria and room tables—all of which will be covered by lots of little hands and will need to be cleaned too.
And cleaned quickly. In a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 85% of teachers believe it takes less than an hour for their students to make a mess of their classroom. The survey was conducted on behalf of Bounty Paper Towels and Puffs Facial Tissues—products that have been mainstays in classrooms across the country.
According to data from the P&G-owned brands, on average, K-6 teachers go through 37 boxes of tissues each school year, or about a box a week.
  • Trade Association Directory 2017

    February 2, 2017
    Contact details of trade associations that serve various segments of our industry and are mentioned frequently in Happi.

  • What the Halal  Is Going On?

    What the Halal Is Going On?

    Imogen Matthews , In-Cosmetics||February 2, 2017
    Demand for these beauty products is surging thanks to a fastgrowing Muslim population.

  • Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Guadalupe Pellon and Annette Mehling , BASF||February 2, 2017
    BASF researchers detail the attributes of the company’s highly effective hair care system focusing on scalp sensitivity.

  • Care for Your Hair

    Care for Your Hair

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 27, 2017
    Salon expert Richard Jay talks about protecting tresses.

  • Fit for Fitness

    Fit for Fitness

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 21, 2017
    Kinx Active is a new brand targeting women who want beauty products that can stand up to their fitness routines.

  • Cargo Says Aloha To Spring/Summer

    Cargo Says Aloha To Spring/Summer

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 13, 2017
    Cargo Cosmetics has rolled out its new Spring/Summer collection with Hawiianan singer Anuhea.

  • Cashing In on Coconuts

    Cashing In on Coconuts

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 6, 2017
    Organic to Green is making waves for its new oils and eco-friendly packaging.

  • Monday Morning Quarterback

    Monday Morning Quarterback

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 6, 2017
    Super Bowl commercials are big business. Let’s look at some of personal and household care brands that bought spots this year

  • Catch These Rising Stars of Beauty

    Catch These Rising Stars of Beauty

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 6, 2017
    Who won what at Fashion Group International's Rising Star awards show

  • Coast To Coast

    Coast To Coast

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 30, 2017
    Natural hand wash brand is aiming to make an environmental difference.

  • Switch It Up

    Switch It Up

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 30, 2017
    Chicago startup seeks to shake up the AP/deo category with a new launch that meshes sustainability, style and scent.

  • Skin of Color Society Connects Experts

    Skin of Color Society Connects Experts

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 16, 2017
    Dermatologists from across the nation share information and ideas.

  • Erasa

    Erasa's New Evangelist(a)

    January 9, 2017
    Impressed by the performance of its hero SKU, supermodel Linda Evangelista joins the company in a hand's on role.

  • Discourse on Disclosure

    Discourse on Disclosure

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 6, 2017
    Transparency impacts the cleaning industry.

  • The Top Stories of 2016

    The Top Stories of 2016

    December 26, 2016
    The companies and topics that grabbed headlines and your attention this year.

  • Positive Influence

    Positive Influence

    December 19, 2016
    Co-founder Elizabeth Scherle talks about her growing consumer review platform, top beauty products and more.

  • Pro Pigments

    Pro Pigments

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||December 12, 2016
    Makeup brand Kryloan has a rich history in the industry and now open doors at a NYC flagship.

  • Fast Forward

    Fast Forward

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||December 12, 2016
    Doug Cooper of IP Brands is thinking ahead when it comes to beauty trends.

  • Olivia Care Pays It Forward

    Olivia Care Pays It Forward

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 12, 2016
    Seeking post-election unity, a small natural personal care company hopes to cause a big wave of giving.

  • Patent Activity: Colgate-Palmolive

    Patent Activity: Colgate-Palmolive

    December 6, 2016
    New oral care compositions, the use of radish root ferment filtrate in a cleanser and more.

  • Sparkle & Shine

    Sparkle & Shine

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 21, 2016
    Glam packaging and upscale scent combos are big at Yankee Candle for Holiday 2016.

  • Cos Bar: Turning 40 and Hitting Fast Forward

    Cos Bar: Turning 40 and Hitting Fast Forward

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 21, 2016
    With a recent investor infusion, a new CEO and rebranding effort underway, this luxury beauty retailer has big plans.

  • Organic Matter

    Organic Matter

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 14, 2016
    FTC and USDA hold a public roundtable to discuss consumers’ perception of organic claims.

  • Help for Up Above

    Help for Up Above

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 14, 2016
    A brand from Down Under is touting a new formulation for what’s missing on top.

  • Skin Care Sensation

    Skin Care Sensation

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 7, 2016
    Circ Cell aims to be unique with formulations that uphold skin tone.

  • Get Ready, ‘Cause Here it Comes…

    Get Ready, ‘Cause Here it Comes…

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 1, 2016
    Skinphonic is a new brand created with a team of beauty experts and fronted by singer Smokey Robinson.

  • Hair for Me!

    Hair for Me!

    October 31, 2016
    Function of Beauty fulfills the promise of personalization in the beauty space—one bottle at a time.

  • A Facial Bar Grows in Brooklyn

    A Facial Bar Grows in Brooklyn

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 24, 2016
    With three doors in Canada, Blitz Facial Bar opens its first US location in one of the hippest areas of New York.