PBH LAUNCHES 'COLOR' CAMPAIGN

WILMINGTON, Del. -- A new program from The Produce for Better Health Foundation here has retailers excited about urging consumers to eat a colorful variety of vegetables and fruit, including canned, frozen and dried products in Center Store.Called 5 A Day The Color Way, the new three-year, $4.5 million campaign provides in-store signage in English and Spanish reminding shoppers to "Eat Your Colors

WILMINGTON, Del. -- A new program from The Produce for Better Health Foundation here has retailers excited about urging consumers to eat a colorful variety of vegetables and fruit, including canned, frozen and dried products in Center Store.

Called 5 A Day The Color Way, the new three-year, $4.5 million campaign provides in-store signage in English and Spanish reminding shoppers to "Eat Your Colors Every Day." Static clings are available for freezer doors; shelf-talkers and flag tags can be hung on Center Store shelves, calling attention to boxes of raisins and cans of tomatoes; and floor graphics can take the message throughout the grocery store.

A spokeswoman for the PBH said 4,000 locations are participating, including PBH members Wal-Mart, Safeway and Supervalu.

The Color campaign launched in October and includes an accordion-folded guide and a 30-page booklet of menu-planning ideas and recipes that food retailers can distribute to their customers, or even sell. Retailers do not need to be members of PBH to get the materials, which can be ordered from the PBH Web site. The program will begin to appear in stores next month.

"Absolutely, we are excited," said Lynne High, director of corporate communications for Supervalu, Eden Prairie, Minn. "The campaign really simplifies the concept in the mind and eye of the consumer and ensures they get not only the required amounts of fruits and vegetables but the nutrient balance, which is the key thing.

"It [colors] takes the program to the next level and simplifies it at the same time. It's really a win for everybody."

The "colors" the program talks about include blue/purple, as in blueberries and plums. No less than 16 foods are suggested in this color alone, in the booklets that the PBH provides. The other colors are green, white, yellow/orange, and red. At least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily are recommended by the USDA in its Food Guide Pyramid, but the campaign suggests increasing the number of servings to seven or nine daily, depending on caloric intake, age and level of activity.

A serving size is only 6 ounces of fruit or vegetable juice or half a cup of raw, cooked, frozen or canned fruits or vegetables, according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables include a lower risk of some cancers and heart disease, urinary tract health, promotion of memory function, vision health, healthy aging, strong bones and teeth, and protecting the immune system.

The Produce for Better Health Foundation is a nonprofit consumer education organization that aims to create a healthier America through increased consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables. PBH is chair of the National 5 A Day Partnership, made up of industry members, government agencies and nonprofits working to improve public health. With all the emphasis the obesity problem among Americans has received this year, it is striking that the promotional material suggests "a healthy way to supersize" on the page that discusses how many servings daily are needed.

In 1991, the PBH was formed to serve as co-sponsor, along with the National Cancer Institute, of the 5 A Day for Better Health program, with the primary purpose of overseeing industry participation. It began with the support of 60 produce industry companies and commodity boards, but now has grown to more than 700 members representing growers, shippers, packers, merchandisers, commodity boards, trade associations, food industry organizations, health insurers, health professionals and retailers reaching consumers in 30,000 supermarkets nationwide.