(Feb. 6) Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash., and Sesame Street are combining to promote healthy eating habits in preschoolers.

Stemilt, with Sesame Workshop, the new York-based nonprofit organization behind the popular children’s show, has launched a marketing campaign for their Piñata apples featuring Sesame Street’s Elmo and Abby Cadabby.

“Piñata is perfect for this campaign,” said Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt. “It’s a fantastic apple, a home run, but we have to educate people on it and partnering with Sesame Street was a logical step.”

An apple variety exclusive to Stemilt, Piñatas are a hybrid of three varieties known for sweet-tart flavor.

Prominently featuring the Sesame Street characters, Piñata self-display builders will be the primary component of the campaign, along with the slogan “feels like a party of flavor in your mouth.”

The display boxes, which received a Produce Marketing Association Impact Award in October for design and flexibility, are designed to attract the attention of shoppers with young children.

“Kids notice the displays and draw mom’s attention and the older people remember these characters from their childhood,” Pepperl said. “But this isn’t just about characters — it’s about educating children.”

Part of Sesame’s Healthy Habits for Life, which began in 2004, the program is intended to promote health, nutrition, physical activity and education to preschoolers and their parents.

Stemilt also plans a cherry campaign with Sesame Street, to be launched this summer. Graphics haven’t been finalized, but Elmo will be featured prominently in this campaign as well, Pepperl said.

Also participating in the Healthy Habits for Life program are Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Watsonville, Calif.-based California Giant Berry Farms Inc.