Sesame Workshop and the US Produce Marketing Association have unveiled a national movement called Eat Brighter, aimed at utilising the world-famous Sesame Street brand and its associated characters to encourage children aged 2-5, as well as their parents and guardians, to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
Drawing on the vibrancy and energy of the Sesame Street franchise, the Eat Brighter initiative is built around a marketing toolkit developed by the industry after being granted free access to the brand and characters in October last year.
Media placements, in-store signage and packaging being made available as part of the toolkit can all be used by fruit and vegetable marketers royalty-free in the US, while in Europe a deal is understood to be under discussion following a successful trial project in Spain.
"Diet is the number one cause of mortality and obesity issues in the US, and as produce marketers, we have the power to influence children’s eating habits," commented PMA president Cathy Burns at the launch of Eat Brighter.
"We all know targeted marketing works. Our goal is to spark a unified movement — helping our industry rise above the advertising noise with a strong voice, and one clear message, meanwhile boosting sales and instilling good values to build customer loyalty."
Retailers and suppliers who sell fresh fruits and vegetables in the US are eligible to participate, and there are no licensing fees to use the Sesame Street characters.
"Members of the Sesame Workshop-PMA marketing taskforce have dedicated hours of their time to ensure the success and adaptability of the marketing toolkit and they should be commended for that," said Todd Putman, chief marketing officer of Bolthouse Farms and chair of the taskforce.
"Through their enthusiasm, an industry movement has evolved that creates marketing opportunities abound – and rest assured, this will be integrated into Bolthouse’s multi-year strategic marketing plan, and I know others will do the same."