(Feb. 8) The Portland, Ore.-based Pear Bureau Northwest says it has a new way to promote the nutritional power of pears. The group that represents 1,600 Washington and Oregon pear growers is relying on supermarket pharmacies.

The pear bureau said in a Feb. 6 news release that it has partnered with retail grocer Hannaford Bros. Co., Scarborough, Maine, for an initiative that involves colorful pear images and health information about pears on glossy pharmacy prescription bags.

“A sweet, refreshing pear is an excellent source of fiber that contains Vitamin C and is also a source of potassium, all for about 100 calories” and “one medium sized pear provides half the recommended daily intake of fruit,” are two messages featured on the bags.

“We are pleased to partner in this program that will help remind customers to get their daily servings of fruit," said Caren Epstein, Hannaford spokesperson, in the release. "This program supports our strategy of making nutrition, health, and wellness information readily available to our customers."

According to the pear bureau, the promotion through Hannaford is the first of its kind in the fresh produce industry. The group said it tested the bags in smaller markets before launching nationwide in select pharmacies within supermarkets.

The pear bureau said the pharmacy bag program would soon expand to St. Louis area supermarkets run by Dierbergs Markets Inc., Chesterfield, Mo., and to the Michigan stores operated by retailer Harding’s.