Birds Eye pledges ad, coupon support for obesity campaign

05/08/2012 12:14:00 PM
Tom Karst

Kids are “GenVeg” in a new advertising campaign by a leading American frozen vegetable supplier.

Bolstering its commitment to cultivate a generation of kids who want vegetables, Rochester, N.Y.-based Birds Eye Foods has pledged $6 million over the next three years to support the anti-obesity efforts of the Partnership for a Healthier America. The group, created in 2010 to work with private companies in conjunction with first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to end childhood obesity, announced the Birds Eye pledge May 7.

Birds Eye and Nickelodeon are partnering on the series iCarly in 2012, and the company plans to distribute 50 million coupons and bring to market two new “kid-inspired” vegetable products.

“Helping parents afford to put vegetables on the plate and helping kids get excited about eating them are vital components of making our nation healthier,” Obama said in the release. “I’m proud that Birds Eye and the Partnership for a Healthier America have come together to make the healthy choice the easy choice for families and I hope more companies step up to help our kids grow up healthy and strong.”

Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer of the Hockessin, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation, welcomed the effort by Birds Eye to boost vegetable consumption among children.

“Anytime we can get more money into advertising and cents off for vegetables is great,” Pivonka said May 7.

PHA president Larry Soler commended the Birds Eye plan to talk to children as a strategy to change the way they eat.

Sally Genster Robling, president of the Birds Eye Frozen Division, said the company is “asking kids what they think about fresh vegetables in frozen form and inviting them to help us create new veggie products just for kids.”

Birds Eye plans to:

  • Spend $2 million per year from 2012-14 for marketing and advertising efforts to encourage children to enjoy and consume vegetables;
  • Program the GenVeg campaign to appear in 2012 on Nickelodeon’s live-action series, iCarly;
  • Design advertising messages so at least one-third of the GenVeg television messages will reach women age 26-54 with children between ages six and 11 and household income of $30,000 or less;
  • Create each of the new Birds Eye products to meet the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines; and
  • Distribute 50 million coupons tied to the GenVeg campaign over three years.



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