Nickelodeon has licensed several of its most popular TV characters -- including SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer -- to several fresh produce distributors that will begin introducing a wide range of fruits and vegetable packages featuring the Nickelodeon characters in supermarkets next month. The agreements are the latest initiative by Nickelodeon to encourage healthier diet and lifestyle choices for kids.
Starting this fall, Grimmway Farms Inc. will produce 1.6oz. single-serving to five-pound bags of baby cut and peeled carrots in packages featuring SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Sportacus and Stephanie from the Nick Jr. series LazyTown. Boskovich Farms will feature SpongeBob SquarePants on its bags of spinach. Also, LGS Specialty Sales, distributors of oranges, tangerines and clementines, will feature SpongeBob, Dora, Blue's Clues and The Backyardigans characters on its bags of fruit. Upcoming deals also include using Nickelodeon characters on cartons of lowfat milk.
"Carrots are a wonderful snack and one of the most kid-friendly vegetables there are," said Phil Gruszka, vice president of Marketing for Grimmway Farms. "Partnering with Nickelodeon by adding their popular characters to our packaging gives kids and parents another way to enjoy their favorite healthy snacks" he said, noting that more than 5 million bags of Nickelodeon carrots will be available nationwide at supermarkets including Safeway and Albertson's.
"Getting children to eat healthier has always been a struggle for parents,” said Don Hobson, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Boskovich Farms. "SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the most recognizable and adored characters in touch with youth culture today. Partnering him with one of the healthiest vegetables in the supermarket will definitely appeal to both kids and their parents," he said.
"Nickelodeon recognizes the importance of health and wellness for kids and is proud of the efforts the network is making to encourage kids to eat right and make healthy food choices," said Sherice Torres, vice president, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products. "We're thrilled to be able to add to the fun of eating fruits and vegetables," she said.
Using its characters to entice kids to try healthy food alternatives is just one of the ways Nickelodeon is working to encourage healthy, balanced lifestyles for kids. Later this month, the network will unveil a series of new public service announcements (PSAs) which focus on the importance of starting the day by eating a balanced breakfast. According to a research study -- “Kids, Food and Eating Behaviors” -- by Nickelodeon and Cogent Research, only 50% of kids in the U.S. eat breakfast everyday, and only 39% of kids eat three meals per day on a daily basis.