Hummus may be packaged with more than baked foods, such as fresh vegetables.

Not long after the Fourth of July holiday has passed, it begins: Back-to-school products and promotions arrive in stores.

The new school year isn’t the only fresh start for youngsters, as producers of snack foods and bakery products offer solutions for quick, easy and increasingly better-for-you school lunches and snacks.

Snack packs that include product pairings are one example. No matter how you spell it — hommus, hummus, houmous — this chickpea-based dip is hot right now among kids and adults, especially with co-packaged items like Mediterranean Snacks’ hummus and pretzel pack, Tribe’s To Go hummus and pita chip pack, Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods’ hummus and hummus chips pack, Sabra’s hummus and pretzel pack and Wild Garden’s Crunchmaster snack boxes, to name a few.

In addition to savory snacks like crackers and pretzels, hummus is also co-packaged with cut-up fresh vegetables in some snack packs, like Ready Snax’s combination of veggies, hummus and sunflower seeds. Young carnivores can get in on the snacking, too, with new Hummus Plus from the Grecian Delight brand of Pure Mediterranean Foods; Hummus Plus snacks include hummus and fully cooked chicken slices in five varieties. The snacks are packaged in separate containers linked by cardboard overwrap.

Better-for-you messaging is perfectly suited for eye-catching packaging.

Other snack packs with a better-for-you bent and packaging that appeals to all demographics include a line of Balanced Breaks from Sargento Foods, which include natural cheese pieces paired with roasted nuts and sweet dried fruits sold in a 3-pack of single-serving cups and lids and Ready Pac’s fruit cups, with potions of fresh grapes, blueberries, melon and pineapple merchandised in single-serve containers.

Snack packs with peanut butter are also touted for school lunches and snacks, including new Reese’s Spreads Snacksters, with peanut butter chocolate spread co-packaged with graham dippers in a 1.8-oz. rigid package with a peel-back lid.

Hummus co-packaged with pretzels or pita chips is a hot snack trend for children and adults.
For those with school-age kids, some snack packs are branded, packaged and merchandised as family-friendly, from Oscar Mayer’s Lunchables refrigerated lunch and snack packs to Applegate Farms’ Half Time lunch packs. Annie’s Homegrown, Inc. has added a gluten-free snack kit to its line of snack kits, with organic trail mix, an Annie’s Double Chocolate Chip Granola Bar, Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies and Annie’s Organic Orchard Strawberry Fruit Bites.