(July 27) Fresh fruit and vegetables are part of Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.’s new exclusive brand called Disney Magic Selections.

The products are designed to appeal to children and to encourage them to eat more healthful foods.

The nationwide private label is being developed in partnership with Disney Consumer Products, Burbank, Calif., said Disney corporate communications manager Clint Hayashi. The companies are working together on product development, packaging and marketing, he said.

The initial rollout features fresh fruit, breakfast foods, yogurt, water and juice, which are available on shelves now in Kroger’s more than 2,400 stores, Hayashi said.

Many of the items have zero grams of trans fat, and the companies plan to eliminate all trans fat from the Disney Magic Selections products by the end of 2007.

Packages and marketing materials feature Mickey Mouse and other Disney and Disney-Pixar characters, including those from “Toy Story”, “Monsters, Inc.” and “Kim Possible.”

Fresh apples and bananas are available now, and other produce is expected to be added later, said John Honeck, director of grocery and drug channels for Disney Consumer Products.

Disney declined to disclose what other kinds of produce are to be added or to identify the line’s fresh produce suppliers.

Indianapolis-based Imagination Farms, which distributes Disney Garden-branded produce, has no involvement in the Disney Magic Solutions brand, said Lucy Garcia, Imagination Farms’ marketing director.

The companies are packaging smaller portions of fresh fruit with children’s smaller appetites in mind, Hayashi said.

The fresh apple package has six “lunch-sized” apples on a wrapped tray. The label features Mike Wazowski, a character from “Monsters, Inc.” and a thumbs-up sign using Mickey Mouse’s hand.

Mickey’s thumbs-up sign appears on the Disney Magic Selections packages near information on the products’ nutritional attributes.

Three small bananas are packaged in a mesh bag with “Jungle Book” characters and the thumbs-up sign on the label.

Disney Magic Selections fresh carrots, celery and salads are expected to be available later this year.

Kroger puts Disney brand on healthy food line up
Fresh apples and bananas are available as part of Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.’s new exclusive brand product line called Disney Magic Selections.