AFFI HEATING EFFORT FOR MORE 5 A DAY POINT-OF-SALE MATERIALS

McLEAN, Va. -- Frozen food aisles will soon contain much more point-of-purchase material for the 5 a Day for Better Health program, thanks to an effort being initiated by the American Frozen Food Institute here.AFFI is producing 5 a Day kits designed to get retailers to promote the program in their frozen food sections, as well as in their produce departments. Each kit contains one static cling that

McLEAN, Va. -- Frozen food aisles will soon contain much more point-of-purchase material for the 5 a Day for Better Health program, thanks to an effort being initiated by the American Frozen Food Institute here.

AFFI is producing 5 a Day kits designed to get retailers to promote the program in their frozen food sections, as well as in their produce departments. Each kit contains one static cling that will fit on freezer doors, six shelf talkers to be used on coffin cases, and nutritional data and other information to help retailers broadcast the message.

The 5 a Day program encourages consumers to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

The kits, which are expected to be available within the next few days, will cost retailers about $2 per store. They will be available from AFFI and through many food brokers as a result of a recent alliance between AFFI with the National Food Brokers Association. Separate sales kits that show how 5 a Day can be used in frozens are being offered to members of both AFFI and NFBA.

While addressing a 5 a Day meeting held during AFFI's Western Conference in Monterey, Calif., Traci Carneal, AFFI's vice president of communications, predicted a good response from all segments of the industry.

"The ideal scenario is that a lot of brokers and frozen food companies will purchase these materials for their retail customers," Carneal said. She also suggested retailers would buy kits on their own in an effort to boost sales of frozen products.

The creation of the kits marks a somewhat dramatic shift for AFFI. For the past two years, AFFI has donated $80,000 to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, which created the 5 a Day program. This year AFFI is donating $20,000.

"The 5 a Day committee recommended, and the AFFI board supported, taking control of frozen promotions," said Ben Frega, vice president and general manager of private label at Comstock Michigan Fruit, Rochester, N.Y., and a member of the 5 a Day Committee, at the AFFI conference. "By that we meant reducing the frozen participation in PBH monetarily, and taking the additional monies that were saved and putting them in to frozen-specific merchandising materials."

Frega said the decision on which materials to use was partially determined by the results of a survey in which retailers were asked what materials they would be willing to put up in their stores.

Frega also said AFFI's 5 a Day Committee is trying to arrange a retailer contest in which prizes would be awarded to supermarkets that do the best job of promoting 5 a Day in frozens. The earliest such a contest could begin, he said, would be in the fall.