WHAT: Healthy Eating is Kids' Stuff
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 12, 2:45-4 p.m.
WHERE: Room 371
PLAINFIELD, Ill. — Jewel-Osco, a Supervalu company, hosted Hip Hop Harry, his friends, and a large group of kids at one of its stores here as part of the Good to Grow campaign, a nonprofit group that encourages children to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Supervalu, which operates stores under several banners spanning the country, joined the national Good to Grow campaign for the first time this year, and hundreds of its more than 2,000 banner stores were quick to set up related in-store events.
In a partnership with the television channel Discovery Kids, Good to Grow, funded by 20 some suppliers, aims to educate children and their parents about the many benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. This is the fifth year for Good to Grow, and its impact has been noticed, Supervalu officials said.
“Our Albertsons stores have seen tremendous success over the past four years with this program, so it made sense for Supervalu banners to participate this year,” said Jim Sarcletti, Supervalu category manager, fresh.
“In addition, Good to Grow complements Supervalu's Premium Fresh & Healthy initiative, and it strengthens our relationships with our suppliers.”
The Discovery Kids television channel offered its Ready Set Learn! characters, including Hip Hop Harry and Paz, a penguin, for at-store events.
Harry and his dance crew created excitement in the parking lot at the Jewel-Osco store here. The event, with full sound and an elevated stage for the performance, could be seen easily from the street and could have attracted even more people, store officials said.
“Our event was well received by the children and their moms,” said Dave Paul, store director at the 70,000-square-foot store.
“We had about 75 to 100 kids and parents at each of the three shows that morning, and everybody seemed enthusiastic,” Paul told SN. “The kids were given the opportunity to get up on the stage and dance with Harry and the other characters, and they did. Some of their parents got up there, too.”
The characters in the rollicking shows sang songs about eating vegetables and drinking plenty of water. They also talked one-on-one to kids about eating fruits and vegetables and staying healthy. They even distributed recipes for some kid-friendly snacks, such as peanut butter-stuffed grapes.
“It [the Good to Grow event] certainly was an investment in the future,” Paul said, pointing out that the kids represent the next generation of customers.
“It was good as a community effort, too. We're helping parents educate their kids toward healthy eating.”
Numerous in-store elements augmented the educational endeavor.
“Fun, colorful growth charts with special messaging communicate that eating healthy helps you grow up healthy, tall and strong,” said Kim Kirchherr, Jewel-Osco dietitian.
“And we have danglers in place in stores to draw attention to featured fruits and veggies.”
Kirchherr told SN that Jewel-Osco is reaching out even further to communities by providing store tours upon request.
Good to Grow events were scheduled in at least 40 other Jewel-Osco stores and at hundreds of other Supervalu stores, including Acme, Albertsons, Shopper's Food & Pharmacy, bigg's, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's and Shaw's locations.
Although the Good to Grow program is not affiliated with the Produce Marketing Association, PMA has always recognized the importance of programs geared toward kids through a variety of partnerships and donations. This spring, for example, PMA gave $500,000 to help fund a partnership between Produce for Better Health Foundation's Campaign for Children's Health and children's publisher Scholastic Inc. that will help teachers incorporate nutrition and produce consumption messages into classroom lessons for elementary school children.
And encouraging kids to eat more fruits and vegetables will continue to be a hot topic at this year's Fresh Summit in Houston, Oct. 12-15. At the “Healthy Eating is Kids' Stuff” session on Friday, Oct. 12, attendees will have the opportunity to hear about successful merchandising and marketing programs being used around the world in a panel discussion featuring Shelley White, editorial director of Scholastic; C. Fergus Lowe, from the University of Wales; and Michael Maloney, director of horticulture for the Irish Food Board. Kathy Means, vice president of government relations for PMA, will moderate.