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    Grocers Set to Go Organic! for Earth Day Next Month

    MINNEAPOLIS -- More than 3,300 grocery stores operated by chains including Kroger, Giant Foods, HEB, Whole Foods, and Wild Oats, are joining forces with 45 organic product manufacturers to present "Go Organic! for Earth Day," the second annual national educational and promotional campaign to encourage people to learn about and try organic products.

    MINNEAPOLIS -- More than 3,300 grocery stores operated by chains including Kroger, Giant Foods, HEB, Whole Foods, and Wild Oats, are joining forces with 45 organic product manufacturers to present "Go Organic! for Earth Day," the second annual national educational and promotional campaign to encourage people to learn about and try organic products.

    The campaign, slated during the month of April and peaking on Earth Day, April 22, builds on the success of the inaugural campaign launched last year.

    It is a joint effort of Organic Trade Association (OTA), Earth Day Network, and marketing firm MusicMatters, intended to draw attention to the role organics play in support of a healthy environment, and build upon Americans' already growing interest in the segment.

    According to OTA, organic product sales are accelerating at a rate of approximately 20 percent each year. "Organic foods can now be found in most grocery stores, and many people would like to try them," said Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the OTA in a statement. "Looking for the Go Organic! for Earth Day campaign logo in supermarkets is one fun way to get familiar with organic products."

    Added Michael Martin, known as "prez" at MusicMatters, a Minneapolis-based marketing firm: "Most Americans would like to buy products that are grown without pesticides and made without artificial colors and flavors. By choosing organic products, consumers get these benefits and more."

    The components of the Go Organic! for Earth Day campaign include money-saving coupons; organic food demonstrations and product samples; educational materials; and Earth Day events at retail outlets. In support of the effort, Akasha Richmond, organic chef to the stars and author of the cookbook "Hollywood Dish," has created a day's worth of simple, delicious recipes spanning from breakfast to dinner. All recipes, coupons, informational materials, and a store finder to locate participating retailers can be found on the campaign's Web site, http://www.organicearthday.org.

    Participating retailers include Baker's, Bashas', Brookshires, Coborn's/Cashwise, Copps, Cub Foods, Dillons, Food Lion/Bloom, Fry's, Gerbe's, Giant Eagle, Giant/Tops, Haggen Foods, H.E.B., Ingles Markets, King Soopers/City Market, King's Super Markets, Kroger, Lunds/Byerly's, Marsh, Meijer, Pick 'n Save, Rainbow Foods, Smith's, Ukrop's, United Supermarkets, Whole Foods, and Wild Oats.

    The campaign also brings together leading vendor companies and brands in the organic industry, including Earthbound Farm, The Hain Celestial Group, Horizon Organic, Nature's Path Foods, R.W. Knudsen Family, Santa Cruz Organic, Seventh Generation, Silk Soymilk, and Stonyfield Farm.

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