Cookie Monster helps kids, families 'eat brighter!' - The Packer

Cookie Monster helps kids, families 'eat brighter!'

03/30/2014 12:00:00 PM
Tom Karst

See related content: Sesame Street promotion enthusiasm varies.

Sesame Street and the Produce Marketing Association are poised to help America’s children and millennial families “eat brighter!”

On March 31, a tool kit for guiding the royalty-free use of “Sesame Street” characters will be available, and produce promotions are expected to begin this summer with the back-to-school season, said Cathy Burns, president of the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association.

Cookie Monster "eat brighter!" promotionCourtesy Produce Marketing AssociationThe Sesame Street campaign won’t exclude any fresh produce commodities and will offer an optional tier for companies that want to create a custom campaign with “Sesame Street” assets to differentiate fresh produce offerings from competitors, Burns said. The campaign will help drive consumption of fruits and vegetables among children 2-5 years old and millennial families, she said.

The theme, or tag line, for the campaign is to “eat brighter!” — matching the brightly colored characters with the high color of the produce department, said Sherrie Westin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Sesame Workshop,

Burns said the costs associated with the campaign will be nominal, with fees covering the creation of the marketing tool kit and administrative fees required to maintain the program. She wouldn’t speculate on the number of produce marketers that will sign up but said there has been interest in the program.

Westin said Sesame Workshop is encouraged by PMA’s enthusiasm for the partnership, which first lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for A Healthier America announced Oct. 31 at the White House.

“Our big hope is that retailers and growers come together for this initiative,” she said.

Key supporters believe the “Sesame Street” campaign will prime the pump of fresh fruit and vegetable demand, but questions remain how broad the appeal of the campaign will be.

The two-year agreement between PMA and Sesame Workshop, in effect through the end of 2016, allows produce growers, suppliers and retailers to use the Sesame Street characters and brand without a licensing fee.

“It seems to be a win-win for everyone, providing well-loved characters licensed for free for a good cause, which is to provide more fruits and vegetables to kids,” said Larry Soler, chief executive officer with the Washington, D.C. based Partnership for a Healthier America.

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