California Giant gets kids in kitchens

Marking to Kids business updatesWatsonville-based California Giant Berry Farms is working to get children more involved with making berry recipes at home with their families, said Cindy Jewell, director of marketing.

“We find that once kids have a part in shopping, prepping and making a recipe they are more inclined to eat the final result. We are showing them that using things like our fresh berries in different kinds of recipes can really make cooking and eating things that are good for you both delicious and fun,” Jewell said.

Ultimately, a new section of the website will be released, called “Kids Corner.”

“A new junior chef section on the website will highlight several short videos of kids working side by side with local chefs to create kid friendly recipes while demonstrating how fun it is for kids to be involved in every step of the process of prepping a recipe, cooking, then enjoying the best part, which is eating what they worked so hard to prepare,” Jewell said.

Activity pages and a place for consumers to submit their own recipes will also be included.


Chelan Fresh joins Fuel up to Play 60

Chelan, Wash.-based Chelan Fresh Marketing is set to participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign, initiated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the NFL and the National Dairy Council again this year, with even more programs.

The company is promoting the program on three- and five-pound bags of small, kid-friendly sized apples, said Mac Riggan, the company’s marketing director.

“More than 11 million children participate in that program through 73,000 schools, so there’s a lot of brand awareness,” Riggan said.

The campaign will run September through February.


CMI reboots Hero program

Columbia Marketing International, Wenatchee, Wash., is launching its Hero program this fall, said Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing.

“We’re essentially trying to tell kids anyone can be a hero by making small decisions the right way, and we’re focusing on apples as a healthy choice to make,” Lutz said.

The idea began several years ago as a brand more targeted to adults but has been refined to reach children.

“We did some in-school work to test the program and have gotten really strong feedback,” he said.

Specialized packaging and display materials will be available.

The company tested the program last year with a soft launch of about a dozen retailers.

This year, it will be a full release, beginning in September and running through December.


Crunch Pak adds to FlavorZ line

Tony Freytag, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Crunch Pak LLC, Cashmere, Wash., said the company is preparing to relaunch its FlavorZ line.

“We launched the line with three flavors, peach-mango, grape and strawberry vanilla cream, that were chosen with the help of kids who acted as our focus groups,” Freytag said.

Later this year the company plans to relaunch FlavorZ.

“We’re looking forward to the response (of) kids to the new items,” Freytag said.

In addition, the company’s line of Marvel Super Heroes products were named the Best New Fruit Product at the United Fresh conference in Chicago.


Duda Farm Fresh makes ants on a log

Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Oviedo, Fla., plans to claim Sept. 6 as Ants on a Log Day for an online social media promotion, said Nichole Towell, director of marketing.

The company wants to emphasize healthy snacking and reach kids and moms when they are looking for snack solutions after going back to school.

“Dandy celery products, from fresh-cut to bulk, are the perfect vehicle for a creative, healthy and delicious ants on a log snack,” Towell said.

During August and September, Towell said the company will use its online communities to share recipe ideas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods is partnering with Peanut Butter and Co. for the effort.


Marking to Kids business updatesHoneybear adds Honey Cubbies line

Honeybear Marketing, a division of Elgin, Minn.-based Westcott Agri Products Inc., plans to introduce its Honey Cubbies brand this fall, said Don Roper, vice president of sales and marketing.

Honeycrisp apples will be offered first in the specially designed 2-pound bags.

“The main focus is to continue to drive fruit and vegetable sales in the battle against childhood obesity,” Roper said.

The brand includes a message of support for TruEarth, a program Honeybear is promoting to educate children and adults about agriculture, conservation and honeybees, which are being threatened by pesticide use.

“We want to provide educational support for kids so they can learn more about bees, and along the way, learn more about agriculture,” Roper said.

The company has teachers working to create education units for schools to use in classrooms to teach students about farming.


Organics Unlimited goes back to school

Organics Unlimited is putting a strong emphasis on marketing to kids this year for the programs surrounding GROW Month in September, said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president.

Point-of-purchase materials, including a paper banana bag for use by retailers, will have the theme Buy a Banana, Change a Life. Posters will be available for retailers.

The company also partnered with Produce for Kids for its Power Your Lunchbox program, and with the Produce Marketing Association on its Sesame Street Eat Brighter! program.

Produce for Kids powers lunchboxes

Produce for Kids is preparing for its Power Your Lunchbox Pledge campaign, set to begin Aug. 11.

The new program is different from the in-store campaigns usually promoted by the organization. It’s meant to encourage parents to choose healthy foods for their families at a challenging time of year.

“Back to school is one of the most stressful times of the year for parents, so we want to help them continue to eat healthy foods as they get through those first few weeks,” said Trish James, vice president.

The program encourages families to take a pledge to pack healthier lunchboxes with products from participating produce suppliers. Other companies, such as an infused water bottle supplier, are also featured.

“This is a good way for us to work with new companies and introduce new partners to consumers,” James said.

Recipes and other ideas will be available on the website.

In addition, the group is partnering with to fund healthy-eating related projects as part of the program.

Participating produce companies will make a donation for every pledge taken.


PMA’s Eat Brighter! makes progress

The Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association launched its Eat Brighter! campaign in March, allowing the royalty-free use of Sesame Street characters to participating produce companies.

Right now, Kathy Means, vice president of government relations and public affairs, said back-to-school promotions are in the works.

She encourages anyone who wants to participate to get started early.

“Right now, we have a lot of suppliers coming on board. It takes some time once you join to work on your packaging and promotions,” she said.

Means said many companies are in the process of finalizing the administrative aspects of the program, figuring out how each specific partnership will look and function.


Sunkist says “C” is for citrus

Sunkist Growers, Sherman Oaks, Calif., plans to participate in the Produce Marketing Association’s Eat Brighter! initiative, in hopes of convincing children that “C” is for citrus, according to a news release.

The partnership will allow Sunkist to use characters such as Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby to reach children and parents.

The promotion is aimed at children ages 2-5.

“Childhood obesity is a critical issue for our country and fighting this epidemic requires strong partnerships with creativity and vision,” Kevin Fiori, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release.

Sunkist is working to develop supporting materials that will be available for the 2014-15 citrus season.

Materials in early design and planning stages include special promotional packaging, advertising and social media support, said Joan Wickham, manager of advertising and public relations.

“We are proud to be a supporting partner to PMA and Sesame Workshop in the Eat Brighter! movement to help kids and families across North America eat more fruits and vegetables,” Fiori said.

More details for the campaign are scheduled to be established before the fall, Wickham said.