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SAN FRANCISCO -- With recent studies indicating that fewer than 15 percent of elementary-school-age children eat the recommended servings (five or more) of fruits and vegetables each day, Del Monte Foods here is embarking on a partnership with the nonprofit educational organization Sesame Workshop to launch a new line of branded products.
The partnership was made public during the licensing show that took place in New York City this week. "If anyone can encourage children to eat their fruits and vegetables, it's Elmo, along with his friends Cookie Monster and Grover," said Apu Mody, managing director, Del Monte Brands. "At Del Monte, we are passionate about nourishing families and enriching lives every day by offering a variety of healthful, convenient, and great-tasting products. We proudly support Sesame Workshop's 'Healthy Habits for Life' initiative, a content-based program to help young children and their families lead healthier lives through improved nutrition, physical activity, and hygiene."
The partnership, in which "Sesame Street" characters will appear on Del Monte products starting in September, is one way that Del Monte Foods and Sesame Workshop are joining to promote healthier eating habits among the nation's youth.
"We are thrilled to team up with Del Monte Foods, a company with a long history of providing quality foods to families in the U.S., to offer vegetables featuring the 'Sesame Street' characters," said Maura Regan, Sesame Workshop's v.p. and g.m. of global licensing. "Our Healthy Habits for Life initiative harnesses the power of 'Sesame Street' to make health and wellbeing crucial to the development of young children in much the same way it has done with learning to read and write."
Del Monte vegetables featuring 'Sesame Street' characters will be offered in specialty four-packs of each variety in grocery stores, and, eight- and 12-packs in select club retailers. The product packaging will feature one of the three 'Sesame Street' characters -- Elmo with green beans, Grover with sweet peas, and Cookie Monster with corn -- along with on-pack coloring activities developed by Sesame Workshop.
"This partnership with Sesame Workshop is an ideal way to help young children and their parents develop healthy eating and exercise habits that will last a lifetime, and we are thrilled to bring child-focused innovation and excitement to the vegetable category," said Mody.