(Oct. 26) SAN DIEGO — The Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore., plans to use a unique vehicle to take its message of nutrition to consumers.

In January, consumers in two major metropolitan areas — yet to be announced — can learn about pears when the pick up their prescriptions. The pear bureau said it will release 300,000 prescription bags printed with information about the fruit’s high fiber, vitamin C and potassium content.

Kevin Moffitt, the bureau’s president and chief executive officer, revealed the new marketing plan Oct. 23 at Fresh Summit 2006.

Moffitt said the bureau plans to distribute the bags in January to pharmacies in high-end markets in two major metropolitan areas in the Midwest and Northeast. He said the cities have not yet been selected but that St. Louis, Mo., is a likely choice.

Moffitt said a key element in the campaign is the tacit third-party endorsement by the pharmacists. A Web site is being created to help track the success of the promotion, he said.

Moffitt said a second round of distribution might follow in late winter if the results in the two cities are promising.