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Parents Prepare to Pay More This Year

As students across America gear up for this new school year, parents are wondering how much more expensive will BACK TO SCHOOL shopping be this year for lunch box items and school supplies? Using Datasembly’s real-time, hyperlocal data, we can tell you. 

Let’s tackle lunch box essentials first. We reviewed the YOY% price change of 37 Nationally branded products- like Hillshire Farm, Kraft, Quaker, Sara Lee and Motts - at over 10,000 locations of some of the largest retailers in the country. The list included products like:

Chewy Granola Bars, Applesauce, Loaf of White Bread and Honey Wheat Bread, Sliced Honey Ham Deli Lunch Meat, Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Ultra Thin Sliced Lunch Meat, American Cheese Slices, Hellmann's Real Mayo Squeeze Bottle Real Mayonnaise, Classic Yellow Mustard, Fruit Snacks Pouches and Mozzarella String Cheese - Just to name a few. 

The branded products commonly found in lunch boxes across America are up an average of 20.3% over last year’s prices, as of July 31, 2022. But just how much you’re going to pay also varies depending on where you live.

The metro areas with the highest increase in the average lunchbox prices are Tampa and Des Moines at 25.7% over the same time period last year. Followed closely by Charlotte with a  24.6% increase over last year and Orlando and Greenville at 24%. The cities with the smallest lunch box increases are San Diego with a 14.4% increase and Los Angeles at 15.1%. 

Now that lunches are packed, we took a moment to review how much more school supplies will cost this year. Branded school supplies like Crayola, Expo, Mead and Five Star, will fill bookbags around the country, but how much are they going to cost?

Datasembly reviewed 27 of these branded products at over 9000 locations at some of the largest retailers in the country. Products included:

Pencils, Colored Pencils, Mechanical Pencils, One Subject Wide Ruled Notebook, Wirebound Notebooks, 3-Subject Notebook, Color Pack Crayons, Colors Marker Set, Glue Sticks, and hand sanitizer

While your school supplies may not have increased YOY as much as your lunch, school supplies will cost on average 15.9% more than they did as of July 31, 2022 - up from an 8% YOY increase in June. If you’re keeping score, that’s almost double the increase we saw in June 2022. 

Like lunch box items, school supply price increases vary by metro area around the country. The largest YOY increase in back to school supplies is 28% in the Syracuse/Rochester and Hartford/New England metro areas, followed closely by San Antonio at 27.9%. Quite the opposite, the smallest increase is 5.7% in Seattle, followed by Los Angeles at 8.7%.

Whether you’re packing lunches or stocking up on supplies, there’s no doubt that this year’s haul will cost parents more than last year no matter where you are. 

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