FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 8, 2000
CONTACT: Robb Enright Director of Public Relations & Production
302-235-ADAY; ext. 18
Produce Industry Members Prepare to Celebrate "Fruits & Vegetables: By Popular Demand" During National 5 A Day Week
Wilmington, Del. - It's back to school time, and that means it's time for National 5 A Day Week. For months, retailers, 5 A Day State Coordinators, suppliers, schools, and other participants have been preparing to celebrate National 5 A Day Week Sept. 10-16. The time has come to promote "Fruits & Vegetables: By Popular Demand" through retail promotions, health fairs, workshops, contests, school events, cafeteria promotions, fun runs and walks and other special events. Now in its eighth year, this National 5 A Day Week promises to be the biggest yet.
The Produce for Better Health Foundation and the National Cancer Institute conduct National 5 A Day Week to raise awareness about the importance of eating 5 or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables for better health. The event has become a regularly-promoted fall activity for many organizations, and is often extended to a month-long promotion in retail stores nationwide. The scope of National 5 A Day Week is amazing. From what's in store to what's in cyberspace, here is a preview of how the 5 A Day message will reach millions of consumers this month.
On the World Wide Web, a brand new website will debut during National 5 A Day Week. At http://www.aboutproduce.com, consumers can learn everything they want to know about fruits, vegetables and even herbs. The Produce Marketing Association and the Foundation are collaborating on the website to be the source for produce recipes, health facts, nutrition information, fruit and vegetable trivia and more. One of the website's strengths is its powerful Produce A-Z searchable database for a variety of information on a particular commodity, including: nutritional benefits; health benefits; availability; recipes; selection, storage, serving and handling tips; recipes; trivia; and website links. Consumers can get a taste of things by checking out the searchable recipe database, which can be searched by commodity, preparation time, or meal type. Other topics covered by the aboutproduce.com website are: news, frequently asked questions and health and nutrition. The aboutproduce.com website will be constantly updated and expanded, with a Recipe E-mail club planned for the future.
"What better time to launch a new consumer produce website than during National 5 A Day Week," said Barbara Berry, M.S., R.D., vice president of programs for the Foundation. "This is the time of year when consumers learn most about 5 A Day, from the National 5 A Day Month cross-promotion to media coverage, special events and other activities. Now consumers can point and click to a new destination on the World Wide Web. Consumers will also experience 5 A Day through the wide range of events in communities across the country. The 5 A Day program's many participants put in a great effort to make these events happen, and it's well worth the effort."
Many other websites are spreading the good news about National 5 A Day Week. Visitors to the Foundation's http://www.5aday.com website can download handy tips, charts, recipes and printable items. The National 5 A Day Week portion of the website serves as an extension of the more than 60,000 "Fruits & Vegetables: By Popular Demand" brochures sent by the Foundation in June to a variety of key influencers who can produce changes in their environment and increase the availability of fruits and vegetables. NCI recently revised and combined its 5 A Day and 5 A Day recipe websites into http://www.5aday.gov. The updated website features more than 170 pages of information for consumers, 5 A Day Coordinators, 5 A Day program participants, health professionals and researchers. The media, worksites and foodservice workers can download special "how to" kits to help them celebrate National 5 A Day Week and make more fruits and vegetables available. At http://www.fpfc.org, Fresh Produce & Floral Council members and consumers can learn how to eat "Fruits & Vegetables: By Popular Demand."
The Foundation's "Sticking to 5 A Day Contest" began Sept. 1 and concludes Nov. 30. At participating stores, students collect the price look-up stickers from purchased produce and submit completed sheets. The Foundation is offering national prizes, while participating retailers will offer local prizes. Throughout September in 5,000 stores nationwide, the Foundation's National 5 A Day Month cross-promotion takes place. The cross-promotion features ReaLemon(r) lemon juice, Ziploc(r) freezer bags, Treasure Cave(r) blue cheese and T. Marzetti(r) dips products linked to produce through cents off coupons, 5 A Day recipes and point-of-sale materials. Participating stores include: Bi-Lo, Food Lion Stores, Genuardi's Family Markets, Kash 'N Karry Food Stores, Marsh Supermarkets, Pick 'N Save, Publix Supermarkets, Richfood, Roundy's, Safeway, ShopRite and SUPERVALU.
The U.S. Apple Association, the Foundation and Pillsbury are conducting a National Apple Month promotion Sept. 1 through Nov. 30. Retailers can participate in a National Apple Month Display Contest, which offers cash prizes. The promotion makes the most of National 5 A Day Week/Month and National Apple Month in October.
Dole Food Company has been training retailers to conduct 5 A Day store tours. Recent retailers involved in these trainings include Bi-Lo, WalMart and Roundy's. The major highlight of Dole's National 5 A Day Week plans is the unveiling of the version 2000 edition of the popular "5 A Day Adventures" CD-ROM. More than 2 million of the "5 A Day Adventures" CD-ROMs have been distributed to schools and homes. The new version features eight new interactive educational modules, lively new original music and more vivid graphics designed to make it fun to learn about 5 A Day.
SUPERVALU not only promotes National 5 A Day Week, but its annual 5 A Day Contest has become a pastime. For the sixth year, the nation's largest wholesale food distributor is encouraging its 4,600 supplied stores to promote 5 A Day in the store and in the community. The ones to watch will undoubtedly be located in SUPERVALU's Southeast region, which has claimed top honors in each of the five years. Through a regional contest and the corporate contest, more and more Southeast region stores participate each year. John Schildroth, promotion manager of SUPERVALU's Southeast region, has taken the lead in inspiring his region's stores to participate. Stores often spend a year brainstorming about what they can do for National 5 A Day Week/Month.
"National 5 A Day Week offers a tremendous opportunity for SUPERVALU and others to capitalize on the event's national exposure," said Mike Kemp, corporate director of produce for SUPERVALU and chairman of the Foundation's Board of Directors. "This annual celebration helps us reach out into the community. Other retailers, industry members and 5 A Day participants understand this as well. If ever there is an opportunity to jump on the 5 A Day bandwagon, National 5 A Day Week is the time."
Other retailers are conducting their own activities and promotions. Kroger will once again provide fruit for the annual 5 A Day Health Fair Sept. 9 at the Little Rock River Market in Little Rock, Ark. The event ties in children's activities, produce and fun during the farmer's market's regular hours. The Arkansas Department of Health has also been distributing worksite kits to a few dozen local businesses for employees to put 5 A Day into practice. WalMart is incorporating the 5 A Day message into the produce department, pharmacy, cafeteria, fitness center and other aspects of the stores and company. The Foundation distributed materials to 2,300 WalMart stores to help with this effort. The Maryland Department of Health and the state's Cooperative Extensions office will help launch a new WalMart Supercenter during the week. In New Jersey, Pathmark, ShopRite and King's Supermarkets are working with the New Jersey Division of Family Health Services Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to conduct a coupon-oriented promotion reaching schools, WIC participants, health insurance providers and others in Newark, Jersey City and Elizabeth.
The Indianapolis Fruit Company, O'Malia Food Markets and WB4 Kids Club (WTTV Channel 4) are partnering to air 5 A Day TV spots during typical children viewing hours leading up to National 5 A Day Week. This is part of a year-long effort, which will total more than 140 spots. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis hosted a "Family Picnic Day" Sept. 2 with special 5 A Day festivities made possible by Indianapolis Fruit Company. The Indianapolis Fruit Company is also involved in year-round produce promotion opportunities with the largest children's museum in the world.
Many activities will take place in New Jersey and nearby New York. "Pete Your Produce Pal," from NBC's Today Show, will promote National 5 A Day Week and Jersey Fresh produce during a special segment on the Sept. 9 broadcast. The Foundation's "Produce Man" character will accompany five other fruit or vegetable costumed characters outside Today Show studios in New York City. Other events include the annual Septemberfest outdoor festival at Veterans Park in Hamilton Township, N.J., and an event at the Trenton Farmers Market, both on Sept. 10. State Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown and State Commissioner of Health Christine Grant will attend the event in Trenton. In Minnesota, three 5 A Day-themed cooking segments will be featured on a local television show during the month. In North Carolina, members of the media received 5 A Day Week media kits with nutrition education information, recipes and more. In Washington, DC Sept. 13, produce industry members will help celebrate National 5 A Day Week at the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association's annual Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill. In a special 90-second "Do Yourself a Flavor" healthy cooking spot broadcast during the local news in more than 17 markets nationwide, popular gourmet chef Graham Kerr will provide tips to "demand healthy options wherever we eat."
Many other National 5 A Day Week activities will take place during the week and throughout the month, thanks to the efforts of 5 A Day State Coordinators, retailers, industry members and local businesses.
For more information about National 5 A Day Week, check out the Foundation's website at http://www.5aday.com. For more about the 5 A Day-- for Better Health program, contact the Foundation at 302-235-ADAY; fax: 302-235-5555; or check out http://www.5aday.com.
The Produce for Better Health Foundation is the catalyst for creating a healthier America through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization which, in cooperation with the National Cancer Institute, sponsors the national 5 A Day -- for Better Health program.