The US cereal and snack giant surveyed 1,000 American parents to identify what activities and snacks are enjoyed the most during summer.
The survey has conducted in partnership with the Box Tops for Education program, the company’s school fund coupon scheme.
“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 of the Box Tops for Education scheme for General Mills.
The survey discovered that while most families across the continent are interested in simple, outdoor activities and unexpected road trips, snack preferences varied by region.
According to the Minnesota-based company, 30% of consumers in the south of the US prefer to snack on potato chips, followed by popcorn, crackers and pretzels.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of the respondents in the northeast listed granola and protein bars as the most popular lunchbox snacks.
Consumers in the Midwest and on the west coast appear to be the healthiest, with 27% of those surveyed opting for fruit and vegetables as their favorite snack.
Pick of the activity bunch
The survey also found the most popular summer activities were generally uniform across the US.
Simple family activities that take place outdoors dominate consumers’ summer occasions: back-yard barbecues (50%) and picnics (34%) are the most popular family activity, compared to sporting events on just 15%.
A larger majority of kids (62%) keep active by swimming and playing at parks, compared to 22% at sporting or arts events.
Two in three parents plan to take a road trip, with many opting for a holiday close to home.
Have fun in the sun and give back
General Mills used the occasion to send out a reminder to consumers to give back to their local schools by collecting Box Tops coupons.
The company donates 10c for every Box Top submitted and schools can earn up to $20,000 annually to support basic operating needs and programs, such as field trips, textbooks, musical instruments, playground equipment and classroom technology.
America's K-8 schools have earned more than $840m through the Box Tops for Education program since it started in 1996, with approximately 32m households participating last year.
"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,” said Lopez-May.