Pear consumption continues its steady climb in the U.S. as consumers become more educated about the fruit, and that’s exactly what the Pear Bureau Northwest wants to see.
“That’s our ultimate goal — to increase the number of people eating pears,” said Cristie Mather, director of communications for the Milwaukie, Ore.-based organization.
The pear bureau plans several changes this year.
First, it will tweak its website — which gets 30,000 visitors a month — to become more mobile friendly.
The main website’s mobile version was nearing completion at the end of June. The revised kids section will be a separate microsite that’s just for kids.
“Our current kids microsite is built using Flash, which doesn’t work on most mobile devices,” Mather said.
“Our new site, as part of its redesign, will be built on a platform that is compatible with mobile devices for kids and families on the go.”
It should be operational by January, Mather said.
The kids section is one of the most popular sections for the pear bureau and will offer more educational games along with nutrition information and general information about pears, Mather said.
Also, the bureau has created a new tool for use in schools.
An informational foodservice kit is now available for foodservice directors, educators and foodservice distributors.
It includes five newly developed recipes, suggestions on ways to pair pears with other commodity foods commonly used in school foodservice, tips on pear ripening and handling, information on incorporating fresh pears into salad bars and hints on keeping cut pears from browning.
The kit also includes informational worksheets and handouts to teach children about the varieties, shapes and colors of pears and where they are grown.
A component of the kit is a slick, 12-page “Pearfect Recipes for Kids in the Kitchen” booklet. This is available to retailers, consumers, supermarket dietitians and schools and is given away at family-friendly events.
Mather said the booklet is perfect for children because it offers fun recipes such as yogurt pear-faits and pear “french fries,” as well as kitchen safety tips, advice on picking the perfect pear and a chart detailing all varieties in an easily readable format.
“If (kids) get active in the kitchen, they’ll be more likely to finish the healthy food that’s set before them,” she said.
“We want to raise awareness and make it easy for people to implement pears in their recipes, at schools or in restaurants.”
Mather said anyone interested in obtaining the school foodservice kit or the “Kids in the Kitchen” booklet can contact Brittany Wilmes, program coordinator for Pear Bureau Northwest, at firstname.lastname@example.org.