PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Birds Eye, a brand of Pinnacle Foods, was invited to share its successful strategy for getting youth to eat their vegetables at the Partnership for a Healthier America's (PHA) 2013 Building a Healthier Future Summit this week, at a time when childhood obesity experts are looking for new approaches and new options to tackle this complex issue.
Sally Genster Robling, president of the Birds Eye frozen division at Pinnacle Foods, will profile the company's successful partnership with Nickelodeon during a session at the national health Summit. The company will be featured as an example of the industry's successful marketing – noting Birds Eye's three-year, $6 million investment to inspire kids to eat more vegetables – an important strategy to help children reach and maintain a healthy weight.
"We took a different approach by empowering kids to be part of the solution," said Robling. "We went straight to the source and asked kids to help inspire other kids to eat more vegetables, and encouraged them to get creative in the kitchen to help us develop new vegetable products that other kids would enjoy. And the good news is, we've been able to really begin to make a difference in a hard-to-tackle issue."
The company will announce that their efforts will continue, most notably with the introduction of four new kid-inspired and family-approved products that will make their way to grocery stores in the next few months, including one that will display the PHA logo on package. The new kid-inspired Birds Eye products include four different varieties under the new banner, Birds Eye Family-Approved Steamfresh Chef's Favorites. Birds Eye Executive Chef Michael Christiansen took cues from kids to develop the new vegetable blends. In fact, the company received more than 16,000 recipes that kids created as part of its partnership with Nickelodeon for the "iCarly iCook with Birds Eye" campaign, which has helped inspire new recipes and new ideas to help kids love their veggies. Chef Christiansen will also participate in the Summit, providing ideas for cooking with kids based on his own experiences as a father, and offering tastings of the new Birds Eye products to the Summit attendees.
Last year Birds Eye committed to a three-year partnership with the PHA and, as part of its 2012 Progress Report released today, the organization acknowledged that the campaign drove brand sales and overall growth in fresh vegetables in frozen form during the promotional period — helping to reverse a negative trend in that category. Based on syndicated data during the kid-focused promotional campaign, the Birds Eye brand helped contribute to more than a third of the growth in frozen vegetables in the United States. Specific to the Birds Eye brand, the campaign contributed to 20% incremental unit volume growth versus the year ago period.