RETAILERS ARE HELPING TO DRIVE 5 A DAY PROMOTIONAL TOUR

WILMINGTON, Del. -- In an effort to get Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, retailers are lending their support to a 16-city promotional tour by the Produce for Better Health Foundation here. The tour is scheduled to stop in a number of selected East Coast supermarkets.m where they shop, said organizers. As part of the program, the foundation will attempt to get at least one million consumers

WILMINGTON, Del. -- In an effort to get Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, retailers are lending their support to a 16-city promotional tour by the Produce for Better Health Foundation here. The tour is scheduled to stop in a number of selected East Coast supermarkets.

m where they shop, said organizers. As part of the program, the foundation will attempt to get at least one million consumers to sign pledge cards promising they will follow the "5 a Day" rule.

"This is a pilot project for us," said Robb Enright, public relations manager for the Produce for Better Health Foundation. "It's a good way for us to reach a large number of people with the message, in a brief amount of time."

About 15 supermarkets are participating in the promotion, which kicked off in Orlando, Fla. This first phase of the tour, 1,500-miles, concludes in New York City before heading west.

"We have such a different cross section of retailers," Enright said of the inaugural tour. "It says a lot about their support for 5 a Day."

Some of the retailers hosting the team include: Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla.; Kroger Co., Cincinnati; Ukrop's Super Markets, Richmond, Va.; Giant Food, Landover, Md.; Acme Markets, Malvern, Pa.; and West Caldwell, N.J.-based Kings Super Markets.

According to Enright, the retailers have been using the opportunity to highlight their own promotions. He said a number of them have used slicks provided by the foundation in their weekly fliers. The slicks feature a map of the United States with the promotion's tag line, in addition to the foundation's official logo and the day and time that the "5 a Day" team will be visiting the store.

At each of the selected supermarkets, consumers can receive a "certificate of participation" card, allowing them to be entered into a drawing that will give away 100 "5 a Day Across the USA" kits that contain recipes, coupons, a shopping spree and a T-shirt.

In-store promotions will also feature the foundation's colorful costumed character, the Produce Man, who will make stops at selected elementary schools in the cities on the tour, in an effort to further spread the "5 a Day" message.

The tour will conclude with a special luncheon at New York's famous Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park, with the grand finale an attempt to construct the "World's Longest Salad Bar" in Central Park.