Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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84 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2015 looking to embrace healthier eating habits. In addition to the in-store POS, online market- ing and social media support, PFK conducted 258 demo events at participating supermarkets, where shoppers could sample healthy, kid-friendly recipes featuring products from the campaign's sponsors. "Obviously, demos increase sales," says PFK VP Trish James. "Tey are a big tool to give retailers a sales bump in the fruits and vegetables they are promoting." Power Lunch With back-to-school solutions top of mind for many parents this time of year, PFK is launching a trio of programs designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption this fall. "We have a very busy fall planned and will be executing three programs to get families ready for back to school: Our digital Power Your Lunchbox Pledge program, our fall fagship campaign at Publix and Meijer, and our Produce for Kids' Club at Tops Markets," notes James. Te Power Your Lunchbox program invites families to make a pledge to pack healthier lunches at www.poweryourlunchbox.com, a site that ofers recipes, coupons and healthy lunch tips. For every pledge, PFK donates $1 to Feeding America. Te program runs Aug. 3 through mid-September. "Our digital program, Power Your Lunchbox Pledge, allows us and our sponsors to talk directly to families during one of the busiest times of the year, ofering them advice and ideas to fll lunchboxes with produce," asserts James. PFK's fall fagship campaign, which launched earlier this month and runs until October, features "Te Very Hungry Caterpillar," the beloved children's book by Eric Carle. In-store demos, kid-friendly recipes and guest appearances by the very hungry caterpillar of the story are all part of the campaign. "It's a great way to engage the con- sumer in the produce depart- ment," observes James. Finally, t he philanthropic organization will extend its Produce for Kids' Club program, which launched earlier this year at Quincy, Ill.- based Niemann Foods' County Market banner. Te transaction-based loyalty program encourages consum- ers to purchase participating produce items, ofering registered users a kids' card good for a free piece of fruit each month. Tis fall, the program will also be avail- able at Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC. Supermarket Solutions What can supermarkets do to increase produce sales during the back-to-school occasion? "You need to think about solutions for customers where they are today," advises James. "What are they struggling with? Build a merchandising strategy around that." She points to a merchandising display case like the one created by PFK for a recent trade show, which featured all of the components for a delicious, produce-rich and nutritious meal. When it comes to healthier snacking, Crispy Green, the Fairfeld, N.J.-based maker of Crispy Fruit all-natural freeze-dried fruit snacks, has intro- duced a pack of six 0.36-ounce Crispy Fruit bags in seven varieties: Apples, Mangoes, Asian Pears, Bananas, Cantaloupes, Pineapples and Tangerine. Although Crispy Fruit is 100 percent pure, freeze-dried fruit with no added sugar, "kids feel like they're munching on a chip," says company spokeswoman Cherie Boldt. Crispy Green, a PFK sponsor, is also Kid Kritics Approved. Te Kid Kritics seal indicates better food choices that taste good. To gain approval, a product is blind taste-tested by a panel of kids, whose re- sponses must be 70 percent positive. "We like to position our product as the perfect complement to fresh fruit," notes Boldt. "Fresh fruit isn't always the most convenient snack for soccer practice or the backseat of the car. With Crispy Fruit, it's all fruit, non-GMO certifed, kosher and easy to eat on the go." Last month, Pero Family Farms, another PFK sponsor, expanded its retail fresh grab-and- go snack category items with 2.25-ounce Mini Sweet Pepper Snack Rings with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip and 2.25-ounce Green Bean Snack Snips with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip. Both items contain 45 calories or fewer. Recognizing that families need kid-friendly solutions for nutritious and favorful main courses and side dishes, Delray, Fla.-based Pero is expand- ing its lineup with an Italian Green Bean Seasoning product this month. "Te idea of the seasoning was driven by Pero Family Farms' desire to help families, Millen- nial shoppers and children alike fnd an easier Fresh Food Produce Our marketing program is about influencing the tastes of emerging consumers." —Mac Riggan, Chelan Fresh Marketing Y

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