PMA OFFERS PRODUCE CODE BOOK

NEWARK, Del. -- The fifth edition of A Guide to Coding Fresh Produce is being made available through the Produce Marketing Association, here, and has been entirely updated with current Universal Product Codes and Price Look-Up codes for fresh fruits and vegetables. The book includes detailed lists of generic UPCs for fruits and vegetables sold in fixed-weight form (such as a bag of apples), as well

NEWARK, Del. -- The fifth edition of A Guide to Coding Fresh Produce is being made available through the Produce Marketing Association, here, and has been entirely updated with current Universal Product Codes and Price Look-Up codes for fresh fruits and vegetables. The book includes detailed lists of generic UPCs for fruits and vegetables sold in fixed-weight form (such as a bag of apples), as well as PLUs for the majority of bulk fresh produce items sold in supermarkets. Unlike previous editions, this year's guide incorporates both U.S. and Canadian UPCs under one section, rather than separately.

, released a special "Top Ten Brands of the Nineties" list that ranked the 300 most-recognizable product names during the past decade. The only food product reported in the Top 10 belonged to Chiquita, the banana company based here. Ranked first was Kodak film, followed by Craftsman tools, Mercedes Benz automobiles and Hallmark greeting cards.

In regular Equitrend surveys, consumer participants are asked to score brands on a scale of 0-10, basing their numbers on a variety of factors. A high number indicates a strong association between the brand quality and projected sales, said officials of the equity-tracking firm, which launched its first poll in 1990.

E*Garden Launched for Lawn & Garden Industry

RALEIGH, N.C. -- E*Garden has announced it has launched a business-to-business e-commerce Web site focused on the $15 billion lawn and garden industry. The site -- www.egarden.com -- currently includes an auction for surplus and rare merchandise, and in the spring will open a wholesale store to facilitate the ongoing sale of products. E*Garden also features news, information and resources for companies; longer-term, the site plans to offer procurement, payment and distribution services for buyers and sellers. According to company officials, the Web site will serve some 65,000 independent retailers plus commercial customers, including supermarkets with lawn and garden departments.

Strawberry Group, Cool Whip Team

WATSONVILLE, Calif. -- The California Strawberry Commission here is sponsoring a joint merchandising effort between the California strawberry industry and Cool Whip Whipped Topping, a product of Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods, a division of Philip Morris Cos., New York.

Beginning in April and running through July, the program will include full-page advertisements in magazines, freestanding inserts, radio and television spots and in-store materials.

The advertising campaign includes a national FSI coupon drop in 45 million to 50 million circulars. The coupon will be good for free strawberries with the purchase of Cool Whip. Other advertisements will run in women's magazines and include a coupon for free strawberries, as well as recipes featuring strawberries.

In-store promotional material available to retailers consists of signage, shelf-talkers and point-of-purchase cards, as well as static clings for the frozen-food department.

The two featured products will be tied in through on-pack promotional tags. Shippers' labels found atop the one-pound plastic strawberry containers will feature the tag line, "Don't Forget the Cool Whip." Over in the frozen department, containers of Cool Whip will feature the California Strawberry Commission's logo.

According to the commission, strawberries are consumed by 94% of U.S. households and purchased, on average, more than eight times a month.