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Birds Eye emphasizes vegetables with new campaign, partnership

BY Allison Cerra

MOUNTAIN LAKES, N.J. — Birds Eye is encouraging consumers to eat more vegetables with several initiatives.

The brand on Thursday launched its "Discover the Wonder of Vegetables" campaign in New York’s Union Square. The campaign, which featured the Birds Eye vegetable snow farm to emphasize that "it’s always vegetable season," showed off live cooking demonstrations by chef Marcus Samuelsson, giveaways and new insights on inspiring vegetable wonder among children. Also on hand at the event: Cornell researcher Brian Wansink and representatives from Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit that seeks to end childhood hunger in America.

As part of its partnership with Share Our Strength, Birds Eye also has launched the "My Perfect Veggie-Powered Plate" Facebook application, which allows people to create and share their perfect meal — starting with vegetables. For every veggie-powered plate created on Facebook, Birds Eye will donate vegetables for 10 meals as a part of its Feed Kids Better initiative with Share Our Strength.

Additionally, in line with its campaign, Birds Eye also announced its strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its MyPlate dietary guidelines, helping to support the USDA’s September kick-off of the "Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables" consumer education initiative.

"Birds Eye is a great partner of the MyPlate program and we appreciate both the research and consumer education they are dedicating to help Americans add vegetables to build a healthy plate," USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion deputy director Robert Post said.

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Hain Celestial to develop almond milk-based yogurt

BY Allison Cerra

MELVILLE, N.Y. — It seems that Hain Celestial is stepping up its product development by adding an almond milk-based yogurt to its portfolio.

Participating in last week’s Barclays Capital Back-To-School Consumer Conference in Boston, Hain Celestial president and CEO Irwin Simon said that more consumers are eating yogurt for breakfast. Although Irwin discussed the recently-acquired Greek Gods yogurt brand, he also noted that the company is preparing to launch a nondairy-based yogurt under its Almond Dream brand for the consumer that is looking for less dairy or is lactose intolerant.

Irwin said the product launch will be in the near future.

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Healthy Choice gets inspired by ‘Top Chef’

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — ConAgra Foods brand Healthy Choice has enlisted Bravo’s competitive cooking reality show "Top Chef" to launch its latest line of frozen entrées.

The exclusive line of Healthy Choice Top Chef Inspired Café Steamers combines flavorful ingredients and culinary expertise of "Top Chef" with Healthy Choice’s innovative steaming technology.

As part of the product launch, "Top Chef" will host a competition-based original Web series, "Top Chef Healthy Showdown" on BravoTV.com, which challenges former contestants to bring their healthy A-game to a contest where the winner will become the "flavor ambassador" for the Healthy Choice brand. Additionally, Healthy Choice will be spotlighted in the upcoming season of "Top Chef." The brand also is slated to expand its exclusive "Top Chef"-inspired  portfolio with new product launches in the future.

Healthy Choice Top Chef Inspired Café Steamers will hit the frozen food section of retailers nationwide this month.

"’Top Chef’ is known for inspiring consumers with great tasting meals. This line of Top Chef Inspired Cafe Steamers combines unique ingredients with our proprietary steaming technology into meals that aim to satisfy any palate," Healthy Choice VP and general manager Carlos Veraza said. "We work tirelessly to inspire consumers with a variety of great tasting, better-for-you frozen entrées. Healthy Choice is proud to partner with Bravo Media to bring consumers a wide variety of meals that capture the essence of ‘Top Chef’ flavor, with the healthy attributes and great taste consumers expect from Healthy Choice."

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