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 HAPPI.com.
 
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.

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Innovation On Display

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    P&G Beauty Digital Studio showcases new products for 2016

  • Crowning Glory

    Crowning Glory

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    Celebrity stylists and experts from leading hair care brands talk about the ingredients and formats driving the styling sector.

  • Electric Slide

    Electric Slide

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    Skin care devices bring anti-aging to the next level

  • Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Fisherman makes a boatload of products that contain sea kelp and a raft of natural ingredients.

  • What

    What's on Tap for 2016?

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 8, 2016
    CEW and NPD present their beauty industry review and preview.

  • Witch

    Witch's Brew: Dickinson's celebrates milestone in 2016

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 1, 2016
    Dickinson’s celebrates 150 years of witch hazel skin care with the biggest line expansion in the company’s history.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • Between The Sheets: A look at the dryer sheet category

    Between The Sheets: A look at the dryer sheet category

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 25, 2016
    How has the fabric softener sheet category fared of late?

  • Raising the Bar

    Raising the Bar

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 25, 2016
    CeraVe Healing Ointment is billed as a next-level skin salve.

  • Morning Jolt…Before Coffee

    Morning Jolt…Before Coffee

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 18, 2016
    New caffeine-infused toothpaste launches on Indiegogo.

  • Anything but Botched!

    Anything but Botched!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 18, 2016
    The creator of a new skin care line finds an audience even before they get to try the formulas.

  • A Frosch Start in the US

    A Frosch Start in the US

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 18, 2016
    A trusted eco-savvy German household cleaning brand is now available in America.

  • 5 Things I Learned

    5 Things I Learned

    January 15, 2016
    The Avon & Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. Dr. Sabrina Fabi (left) and Dr. Kimberly Jerdan.

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    Jacqueline Sheridan, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP||January 11, 2016
    The unintentional conversion of personal care products through marketing.

  • Lauren B Good

    Lauren B Good

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    Luxe nail polish line attracts cult following and lands in Whole Foods stores.

  • Miami Clean Machine

    Miami Clean Machine

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 28, 2015
    EMG Cleaning Systems is expanding its presence in I&I cleaning.

  • Unshrinkit Is Undeterred

    Unshrinkit Is Undeterred

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 21, 2015
    The biggest night in this startup’s history didn’t go as smoothly as planned, but the company’s co-founder is confident about the future of her specialty laundry product.

  • Hand It To Them!

    Hand It To Them!

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||December 21, 2015
    New SKU reportedly improves the appearance of pigment, texture and wrinkles for hand rejuvenation.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • Color, Your World

    Color, Your World

    December 7, 2015
    A kaleidoscope of concepts was the conversation at a recent NYSCC symposium.

  • Let Me Get Your Digits…

    Let Me Get Your Digits…

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||December 1, 2015
    Sally Hansen branches out with a new app and fashion colors.

  • Play Misty for Me

    Play Misty for Me

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 30, 2015
    Body mists for men and women continue to be the hottest commodities in the mass fragrance market.

  • The Space Between

    The Space Between

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 24, 2015
    Prestige Brands expands its platform with yesterday's acquisition of DenTek, a major player in the fast-growing “peg” oral care sector.

  • A Home of One’s Own

    A Home of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 23, 2015
    NeoStrata’s Exuviance has opened its first freestanding retail space, complete with on-site skin analysis and express treatment rooms.

  • Into the Mist-ic

    Into the Mist-ic

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 16, 2015
    Toilet tissue spray is billed as an eco-friendly alterative to wipes.

  • The Return of Norell

    The Return of Norell

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 9, 2015
    Classic perfume makes a comeback for the holidays.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.