News Releases

Jul 20, 2017

General Mills, Box Tops for Education™ survey reveals top family summer activity, snack trends


Data from nearly 1,000 parents shows simple, unexpected activities win

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – This summer, General Mills and Box Tops for Education surveyed nearly one thousand American parents to identify which activities and snacks families are enjoying most during the dog days of summer. The detailed survey concluded families are most interested in simple, outdoor activities and unexpected road trips with the right mix of snacks and fun in the sun. However, findings show the food enjoyed most varies by region.

Following are findings from families coast-to-coast:

  • Food-focused family fun takes the cake.
    • Backyard BBQs (50%) and picnics (34%) are the most popular family activity they will partake in this summer versus sporting events (15%).
  • Midwest claims the top spot for road trip destinations.
    • Among vacationing families, nearly 1/3 are headed towards Midwest destinations.
    • Two in three parents indicate plans to vacation or road trip, and most say they will become a tourist in their own city, traveling close to home.
  • Back to the Basics: Most popular activities keep it simple and keep it outdoors.
    • Parents confirm kids will be active by swimming and playing at parks (62%), compared to just 22% at either camps, sporting or arts events.
  • America’s favorite snacks vary greatly from coast-to-coast.
    • Granola and protein bars are the most popular lunchbox snacks in the Northeast (24%).
    • Consumers in the South like to snack on chips, popcorn, crackers and pretzels (30%).
    • Midwest & West snackers opt for veggies and fruit (27%).

box tops for education graphic

While enjoying these fun summer snacks and activities, families can help give back to their local schools, by collecting Box Tops all summer long. For every Box Top collected and submitted, schools receive ten cents in funding to support basic operating needs and programs that might not be possible otherwise, such as field trips, textbooks, musical instruments, playground equipment, classroom technology, arts, cultural programming and more

America's K-8 schools have earned more than $840 million through the Box Tops for Education program since it started in 1996, with approximately 32 million households participating last year. Schools can earn up to $20,000 annually through the Clip program. There are no maximum annual earnings limits for Bonus Box Tops.

“We were excited to learn all of the different ways families are enjoying their time together this summer, including how they are snacking,” said Maria Lopez-May, senior manager, Box Tops for Education at General Mills. “And as families snack this summer, it’s important to remember to clip Box Tops for your local schools. With Box Tops on several new and iconic brands, including Nature Valley granola bars, Annie’s Organic snacks, Chex Mix and more, General Mills offers a variety of options that not only fit into families’ differing interests and latest trends, but also gives back to their local communities.”

Families can interact with Box Tops for Education via, Facebookand by subscribing to the program’s email newsletter. Box Tops can be found on hundreds of products including those from: Cheerios, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Annie’s, Totino’s, Ziploc, Kleenex, Reynolds, Lysol and many more. For additional information and a complete list of participating Box Tops products, visit

General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2017 consolidated net sales of US $15.6 billion, as well as another US $1.0 billion from its proportionate share of joint-venture net sales.