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Under the new Eat Brighter! initiative, Baltimore-based Mars Super Markets and fresh produce supplier East Coast Fresh have teamed to offer packages of fresh fruits and vegetables adorned with the likes of Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo and others. Mars is the first retailer to partner with a produce supplier to offer the "Sesame Street"-branded produce in stores.
Created by Produce Marketing Association, Sesame Workshop and the Partnership for a Healthier America, Eat Brighter! provides royalty-free access to "Sesame Street" characters to fresh produce companies and grocery retailers across the United States and Canada.
In-store Nutrition Education
Mars, a family-owned business with 17 grocery stores in Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Anne Arundel counties, held an event to kick off the program at its Wise Avenue store in Baltimore on Sept. 24. The occasion included contests and fresh produce sampling of a range of fruits and vegetables to teach kids and families more about healthy eating.
"The 'Sesame Street' partnership will be a great way to engage and educate children about good nutrition and making good choices," noted Mars Chairman and CEO Chris D'Anna.
"We truly expect [sales] to go up, and I feel OK about that because we're helping customers to become healthier," said Ross Foca, president of Savage, Md.-based East Coast Fresh, 20 of whose more than 130 products are featured in Eat Brighter! "We're excited about increasing sales and targeting a younger generation of families with a program that’s coming with no additional costs to them."
Cathy Burns, president of Newark, Del.-based PMA, extended her "heartfelt congratulations to East Coast Fresh and Mars Super Markets in leading the way in the Eat Brighter! movement. As early adopters, I commend their commitment and leadership in moving this initiative forward. This is just the beginning; we're very excited for the future partnerships between suppliers and retailers."