(Oct. 2) October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S., and Meijer Inc. and Harris Teeter Supermarkets produce departments starting the week of Oct. 1 are displaying pink ribbons to help remind shoppers of the importance of early cancer detection.

The Pink Ribbon Produce retail program runs this month in 181 Meijer stores and 159 Harris Teeter stores, said Lesley Miller, public relations coordinator for Sacramento, Calif.-based marketing company Consumers Effects Inc.

Consumer Effects developed the Pink Ribbon Produce program to raise money for chapters of the nonprofit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Twenty produce organizations, including San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, Detroit-based Aunt Mid Produce Co., and Leamington, Ontario-based Highline Produce Ltd., also are participating in the program.

Miller said each company has made a commitment to help raise awareness of breast cancer through the program, and each will donate a flat fee or a percentage of its sales to Susan G. Komen for the Cure chapters near participating store locations. She said most of the participating stores are in or near Charlotte, N.C., and Grand Rapids, Mich.

In-store posters and point-of-sale signs with the pink ribbon logo point Meijer and Harris Teeter shoppers toward displays of produce from participating suppliers.

“We’re telling our shoppers to ‘think pink’ this month,” said Jennifer Panetta, director of communications for Harris Teeter, in a Consumer Effects news release. “Look for the Pink Ribbon signage throughout the produce department to help you choose what to buy.”

Consumer Effects focuses marketing efforts on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables through in-store promotions, including the Good to Grow campaign, which encourages children to eat more produce.

Harris Teeter, Meijer join Pink Ribbon campaign