NPD Finds Schools Provide Most Lunches to Students

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Milk and sandwiches top the lists of school prepared foods consumed

Chicago, September 30, 2009 -- As Congress considers the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which determines federal school food policies and resources, The NPD Group, a leading market research company, reports that schools are the primary provider of at-school lunches for students. NPD's Lunchtime Mealscape, which explores the drivers of lunchtime food and beverage choices, finds that approximately 64 percent of lunches are school provided, 28 percent are carried from home, and eight percent are obtained from other sources.

According to NPD's Lunchtime Mealscape, the top school prepared foods and beverages consumed by kids, ages 6 to 12, are milk, sandwiches (including burgers and hot dogs), fruit and fruit salad, pizza, chicken, French fries, tap water, and cookies.

Top Ten School Prepared Foods Consumed by 6 to 12 year-olds
% of kids who consumeā€¦    

1.    Milk     77%
2.    Sandwiches     44%
3.    Fruit/fruit salad     35%
4.    Vegetables     24%
5.    Pizza    23%
6.    Fruit drinks    19%
7.    Chicken    13%
8.    French fries    12%
9    Tap Water    9%
10.    Cookies    9%
Source: The NPD Group /Lunchtime Mealscape

NPD also tracks usage of foodservice at secondary schools through its CREST OnSite® service, which includes foodservice operations at business and industry, lodging, hospitals, colleges and universities, senior care, and military segments. According to the CREST OnSite data for the year ending June 2009, the top foods and beverages chosen by students at secondary school cafeterias are milk, sandwiches, bottled water, pizza, fruit, burgers and vegetables -- only milk and sandwiches were included in more meals this past year, while incidence of bottled water and pizza dropped.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,700 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit, or follow us Twitter at


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Kim McLynn
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