(Oct. 10) WATSONVILLE, Calif. — California Giant Inc. has teamed up with Sesame Workshop, New York, in the nonprofit educational organization’s “Healthy Habits for Life” initiative to educate children about the benefits of eating strawberries.

“We are very excited about our partnership with California Giant,” Maura Regan, vice president and general manager of global consumer products for Sesame Workshop, said in an e-mail. In combining California Giant’s nationwide distribution with the tremendous appeal of Elmo, we have the opportunity to capture children’s attention and encourage them to choose strawberries as a healthy snack.”

The 2005 California Strawberry Commission report on consumer use and attitudes showed strawberries are children’s favorite fruit, and that report sparked talks between California Giant and Sesame Workshop.

“We’ve been talking with them for the past year and have signed a three-year licensing agreement where we have the exclusive rights to be the only strawberry company to tie in with Sesame Workshop on packaging and promotions,” said Cindy Jewell, marketing director for California Giant.

Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif., had been involved in a pilot program with Sesame Workshop, with blueberry and strawberry packages carrying labels with Elmo and Cookie Monster. Sesame Street characters have also adorned Sunkist citrus packages, and cherry clamshells from Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash.

Stemilt began using Sesame Workshop’s Sesame Street characters on its cherry packaging in 2005, and started using Elmo and Cookie Monster on its apple bins in the spring of 2006.