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PMA And NACS Announce ‘Eat Brighter!’ Collaboration

Eat brighter campaign Elmo

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has collaborated with the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) through the eat brighter! program that allows participating NACS retailer and supplier members to use Sesame Street character images to promote fruit and vegetable sales.

Eat brighter! is a partnership among Newark, Delaware-based PMA, Sesame Workshop and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) that allows suppliers, distributors and retailers to promote fresh fruits and vegetables with the help of popular Sesame Street character images. NACS retailer or supplier members can pay a one-time administrative fee to gain access to royalty-free images for use on fresh fruit and vegetable packaging and marketing materials.

The eat brighter! program began in March 2014 and has demonstrated a proven track record for success. Research shows that Sesame Street is a brand that drives consumption of fruits and vegetables. One study showed that children eat 31 percent more fruits and vegetables when promoted by a Sesame Street character, and suppliers who have utilized the eat brighter! materials report produce sales increased 5.3 percent.

NACS has 1,900 retailer and 1,800 supplier members from more than 50 countries. In 2017, NACS became the first retail-focused association to sign a commitment with the PHA. Nine NACS retail members and six industry distributors, serving tens of thousands of stores, also have signed commitments with PHA.

“This program could yield enormous benefits for convenience stores and their suppliers. Our own consumer data shows that 60 percent of consumers are more likely to make purchases of snacks that are supported by credible health and nutrition groups,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS VP of strategic industry initiatives. “Sesame Street, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019 through a variety of high-profile events, is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world.”

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with NACS on this initiative to change the trajectory of kids’ health and well-being,” said Kathy Means, PMA VP of demand creation and consumer affairs. “We know from NACS invaluable research that half of Americans are in and out of convenience stores every day, and having these kid-loved, parent-trusted monsters promoting delicious fresh produce helps parents make the healthy choice the easy choice. Having such a program shows each store’s commitment to their community.”

PMA is a trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain.

NACS is a retailer-focused organization working to advance the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve.

The eat brighter! movement aims to change the trajectory of childhood obesity by using the Sesame Street brand and characters to encourage kids ages 2-5 and their parents to choose and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Character marketing can enhance demand for fresh produce, benefiting kids, families, retailers and produce suppliers.

Sesame Workshop is an independent nonprofit organization on a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

About the author

Kristen Brissette

Kristen lives on Cape Cod and enjoys working in the food industry. She loves attending food shows and meeting others in the field.

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