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It’s back-to-school time and here’s some great news for R&D professionals experimenting with new products for kids, such as snack packs and deli meal kits. Protein currently is parents’ No. 1 priority when it comes to feeding their school-bound children, according to new research from Three Bridges, Benicia, California, a manufacturer of clean-label prepared foods.

The Three Bridges research found that two-thirds of parents say food prep during the school year stresses them out. In fact, thinking about breakfast and lunch meal prep is so top-of-mind that 74 percent of parents try to get ahead by starting to pack their kids’ food the night before.

What about priorities when it comes to the types of food products parents are looking for at the store? Two out of five (44 percent) cite nutrition as the driving factor for purchasing decisions, followed by convenience (32 percent) and price (24 percent).

Here are parents’ Top 3 priorities according to Three Bridges research: 

  • Supplying protein (37 percent)
  • Minimizing sugar intake (30 percent)
  • Giving their kids something they enjoy (19 percent)