5 A DAY WEEK 'CHALLENGES' CONSUMERS

NEWARK, Del. -- The Produce for Better Health Foundation is kicking off the 5 a Day week promotion this week, with new radio ads and point-of-sale materials centered on a new goal-oriented theme, "Take the 5 a Day Challenge."To kick off the promotion, radio ads will encourage Americans to eat "5 a Day for a Better You."The 60-second features are debuting in hundreds of different markets across the

NEWARK, Del. -- The Produce for Better Health Foundation is kicking off the 5 a Day week promotion this week, with new radio ads and point-of-sale materials centered on a new goal-oriented theme, "Take the 5 a Day Challenge."

To kick off the promotion, radio ads will encourage Americans to eat "5 a Day for a Better You."

The 60-second features are debuting in hundreds of different markets across the country during the third annual 5 a Day Week, running Sept. 10 to 16, according to PBH officials here.

The foundation is also scheduling the release of a new public service announcement for television broadcast this week. The announcement uses stop-motion animation of a character formed from real fresh fruits and vegetables, encouraging consumers to eat five or more servings of produce a day.

The announcement also makes reference to the National Cancer Institute, which jointly sponsors the 5 a Day for Better Health program with the foundation. The institute is handling the copying and actual distribution of the videos.

Public service directors will get the PSA, along with letters of support from politicians and state health directors to encourage its use.

The foundation is talking with major broadcast and cable networks, along with movie theater operators, about showing the PSA. Also, the foundation is negotiating with the National Basketball Association and the National Football League to air it during sporting events, according to Kathy Steele, director of communications and promotions for the foundation.

Ken Lanhardt, director of produce and floral operations for Cub Food Stores Georgia division in Lithia Springs, Ga., said he is encouraging his stores to participate in 5 a Day week by giving away fruit baskets and sponsoring coloring contests for children.

"For 5 a Day Week, we're trying to generate some excitement," he said.

For 5 a Day week, POS materials are also available. However, this year, POS materials were specifically designed so retailers could use them for longer than a single week, Steele said.

"A number of retailers said that they foresaw a potential problem with getting and using POS materials that would only be good for a week," she said. "In response, we made sure the materials are flexible enough that retailers could leave them up longer and use them in conjunction with, say, a month-long or six-week promotion."

Across the country, state and local organizations are also taking part in the 5 a Day challenge. In Colorado, coalition members have organized a children's poster contest. Winners will be displayed on three billboards in the Denver area.

The Pennsylvania Marketing and Research Program and the Pennsylvania Division of the American Cancer Society, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, have produced 5 a Day radio public service announcements.

In Hawaii, information cards are being distributed at supermarkets that will allow consumers to track their consumption of produce. Consumers can then mail in the cards to win prizes.

In California, hockey great Wayne Gretzky and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will challenge each other and consumers to take the 5 a Day challenge.