AFFI JOINS WITH BROKERS TO WIDEN 5-A-DAY PROGRAM

McLEAN, Va. -- The American Frozen Food Institute here and the National Food Brokers Association, Reston, Va., are joining forces to increase the involvement of the frozen food department in the 5 a Day for Better Health Program.The program, jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation, is designed to encourage people to consume at least five servings

McLEAN, Va. -- The American Frozen Food Institute here and the National Food Brokers Association, Reston, Va., are joining forces to increase the involvement of the frozen food department in the 5 a Day for Better Health Program.

The program, jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation, is designed to encourage people to consume at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.

Since 5 a Day began in 1991, much of the focus has been on fresh produce. AFFI began its involvement with the program two years ago with the formation of a 5-a-Day committee and donations to support the program.

"The link between NFBA and AFFI is logical as we strive to establish frozen food products as a nutritious, convenient way for consumers to get their five servings of fruits and vegetables a day," said Bob Schwarze, NFBA president and chief executive officer. "As the industry's local market experts, brokers will play a vital role in communicating to retail operators the many benefits of moving 5-a-Day promotions to the frozen food aisles."

Mark Baum, senior vice president of NFBA, said his group is forming a task force to work with AFFI and look into doing some special promotions in 1995.

"We thought it would be a natural opportunity to team up with AFFI in trying to move some of the success that 5 a Day has enjoyed into the frozen aisle," Baum said. One of the partnership's goals, he added, "will be to establish a presence for 5 a Day literally, physically, at the store level within the frozen department on an ongoing basis."

Baum and Traci Carneal, AFFI's vice president of communications, said plans for the collaboration with NFBA are still being developed.

"There is a lot of it still up in the air," Carneal said. "This is the first step of the process. We're not quite sure what all the steps are going to be."

She said the groups plan to present details of the partnership Feb. 25 to March 1 at AFFI's Western Frozen Food Convention in Monterey, Calif.