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    PMA, Sesame Workshop Join First Lady’s Health Initiative

    Partnership aims to increase kids’ consumption of fruits and veggies

    During a White House event with First Lady Michelle Obama, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the Sesame Workshop unveiled a two-year collaboration designed to increase children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables.

    The collaboration is part of a commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and the First Lady to help end the childhood obesity epidemic.

    Under the commitment, the agreement allows PMA’s community of suppliers and retailers to take advantage of the influence of the Sesame Street brand to help deliver messages about fresh fruits and vegetables. PMA will provide technical assistance and promotions support to its members. Sesame Street characters may be on produce in stores as early as mid-2014.

    “Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips. That’s what this new collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association is all about – showing our kids that healthy food can be fun and that fruits and vegetables don’t just make us feel good, they taste good too.”

    Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission and immediate past chairman of PMA’s board of directors shared the podium with the First Lady during the White House announcement. “One of the key challenges we face is competing for share of mind and share of plate. Other food marketers – companies who have seemingly endless budgets enabling them to position and sell their products, especially to kids – are steep competition,” she said.

    “PMA seeks nothing less than to inspire a fresh food revolution,” said Bryan Silbermann, PMA president and CEO. “We’re delighted to be part of this new partnership that brings together the White House and two non-profit organizations (PMA and Sesame Workshop) with one very critical mission – helping kids develop healthier eating habits early in life by choosing fresh fruits and veggies. These are goals for both organizations: for Sesame Workshop, utilizing its engaging characters to help families make healthier choices; for PMA, focusing more resources directly on our newly unveiled strategic plan with its emphasis on driving produce consumption.”

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