(Nov. 14) ATLANTA — Cookie Monster’s changing his image, and Sunkist Growers Inc. is taking advantage of the new marketing tool.

The idea is that “C” can stand for citrus, not just cookie.

The Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based grower cooperative announced its partnership with Sesame Workshop, New York, on Monday, Nov. 7, at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2005.

“I am proud to announce, on behalf of the 6,000 growers we represent, a new partnership with Sesame Street Workshop to promote healthy habits for children,” said Jeff Gargiulo, president and chief executive officer. “It’s Sunkist’s 50th year exhibiting at PMA.”

The Sesame Workshop’s Healthy Habits for Life initiative, which encourages developing healthful habits for children, corresponds to Sunkist’s goal of helping to curb childhood obesity and offer healthful snacks, said Susan Jones-Ng, Sunkist marketing manager.

Elmo, Big Bird and Zoe are expected to make appearances on custom-designed Sunkist fruit bins and floor displays, according to the company. Sunkist on Dec. 1 plans to launch a comprehensive Web site at www.sunkist.com/sesamestreet, which will offer healthful snacking tips, recipes and family activities. Also on the Web site, consumers can enter a sweepstakes to have a chance to win Sesame Street gift packs and a trip to a Beaches resort.

Sunkist also is poised for future growth in its strawberry business. It plans to double its volume to 1.5 million boxes this year, Gargiulo said.

In addition, the cooperative is pairing with all 28 Six Flags amusement parks to offer free children’s passes from specially marked bags of Sunkist oranges, said Robert Verloop, vice president of sales and market development.