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Home-Baked Goodies Top Money For College Care Packages


Survey Shows 67 percent of Students Choose Homemade Treats, Gift Certificates, Clothing, CDs, School Supplies Over Cold Hard Cash

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 28, 2005 – You’ve packed and shipped the kids off to college and now you’re suffering from empty-nest syndrome. As a parent, you want them to know they may be gone, but they aren’t forgotten. Eighty-eight percent of parents in a recent survey commissioned by The UPS Store® and Mail Boxes Etc.® have sent care packages to their college students to show how much they care, but few parents probably realize how much their kids value a little taste of home.

According to the survey, 67 percent of college students said good old-fashioned home cooking was the thing they wanted most to find in a care package. As much as they may have complained while still in the nest, your kids actually do like your cooking.

“We think parents should feel great knowing their homemade treats far surpassed cash as the No. 1 desired gift from home,” said Stuart Mathis, president of franchisor Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. “Each fall, our in-store packaging experts receive lots of requests for food packing and shipping tips as parents prepare to send care packages.”

What other items made the grade? If you’re not very good in the kitchen or just can’t seem to find the time, 35 percent of college respondents said they would most like gift cards from local restaurants or retailers. Also, more than 20 percent of students polled said they wanted clothing in a care package – a unique opportunity for parents who want to influence their child’s wardrobe.

The item parents likely expected to see top the list – money – was actually one of the least popular responses, receiving only 15 percent of the vote. It seems cold hard cash just can’t warm a homesick heart.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

* 17 percent of female students say they get care packages more than once a month, compared to only seven percent of male college students.
* Relatives account for the vast majority of care packages sent, with girlfriends or boyfriends accounting for only four percent of the packages received by students surveyed.
* Students in the Midwest receive more care packages around the holidays than any other region (20 percent vs. 12 percent in the West, nine percent in the Northeast, and only four percent in the South).

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted on behalf of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. by the Opinion Research Corporation in July 2005. Using a random-digit-dial technique, telephone interviews were completed with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults 18 years and older. Error due to sampling will not exceed plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, at a 95 percent confidence level.

About The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc.

Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. (MBE), a UPS company, franchises The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. retail locations. The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations together comprise the world’s largest franchise network of retail shipping, postal and business service centers, with more than 5,400 locations in more than 40 countries. In the United States, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. Outside the United States, locations are owned and operated by MBE master licensees or their franchisees. For additional information, please visit or


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