OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rather than waging the nightly war to get kids to eat their spinach, what if parents could entice kids to eat vegetables via parties, watermelon and rainbows?
(Party) Cauliflower, (Watermelon) Radishes and (Rainbow) Carrots, that is.
The makers of Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings are launching an effort, inspired by the eating preferences of kids, to identify and popularize a vegetable that few people have heard of, but that kids just might love. The campaign, called the Great Veggie Adventure, tapped insights gleaned from a poll of more than a thousand school-age kids in order to identify four possible candidates for the next great kid's veggie. The final four are: Watermelon Radishes, Rainbow Carrots, Party Cauliflower and the cone-shaped, broccoli-cousin Romanesco.
Now, the makers of Hidden Valley are partnering with the University of California Small Farm Program and five elementary schools throughout America to plant and grow the new veggies, with the goal of harvesting this spring for a final tasting. Based on the kids' response to each veggie, Hidden Valley will pick one vegetable as the Great Veggie Adventure winner.
"The idea is simple. We want to make veggies fun," said Priscilla Tuan, marketing manager for Hidden Valley Ranch. "Packaged goods brands use cartoon characters, bright colors and ritzy commercials to make their products cool. Well, nature produces some pretty cool things, too. With fun colors and new textures, we think we can get kids more excited about vegetables than they have ever been."
And while the search for a new veggie is the dressing, the real meal of the campaign is the ongoing quest to help kids love their veggies. The campaign strives to do that by involving children in picking and growing veggies, while providing mom with support at home, at school and in the community. With nationwide interest in improving kids' nutrition, and the latest report from the Produce for Better Health Foundation stating that about 93 percent of children ages 2 to 12(1) fall short of the recommended 2-5 cups of vegetables per day, the time is ripe for a new take on healthy eating.
"As the mother of three girls under 7 years old, like any parent I can relate to the frustrations of getting kids to eat their vegetables," says Angie Harmon, celebrity mom and spokeswoman for the Great Veggie Adventure. "What I've found is that my girls respond more positively when I engage them. That is why I personally am so passionate about this project – it makes eating and nutritional education a fun activity that kids will want to be part of."
To help select the vegetables for the Great Veggie Adventure, the makers of Hidden Valley conducted a nationwide poll of more than 1,100 elementary school students. The poll found that children crave vegetables that are colorful, smooth, juicy and crunchy. When they eat them, they want them to be peeled, dipped or enjoyed as part of a salad. Hidden Valley brought that information to the University of California Small Farm Program, who helped select the four veggie options researched and found the four veggie options – each meeting most of these criteria. The seeds will then be distributed to the five schools for testing as part of the Love Your Veggies grant program.
The five schools, which each received a $20,000 grant from Hidden Valley, are Eleanor Tinsley Elementary (Houston, TX); Theodore Judah Elementary (Sacramento, CA); Union Pleasant Elementary (Buffalo, NY); Waterford Village Elementary (Waterford, MI); and Forest Oak Elementary (Philadelphia, PA). The schools will share their Great Veggie Adventure gardening and tasting experiences via blog posts, time-lapse photography in the garden, taste-testing activities, and promotion of the program within their networks and local communities.
Love Your Veggies™ Helps at Home, at School and in the Community
Now in its fifth consecutive year, the Love Your Veggies™ school grant has awarded $960,000 to 82 elementary schools and community organizations nationwide. Hidden Valley created the Love Your Veggies program in 2007 after a study found that children consumed more vegetables when paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing.(2)
"This year we wanted to take Love Your Veggies a step further to directly involve children in the adventure of discovering, enjoying and understanding the health benefits of eating vegetables," said Priscilla Tuan, marketing manager for Hidden Valley. "We were encouraged by a number of studies and advice from experts showing that the more kids are involved with vegetables, the more likely they will enjoy eating them. Parents and kids embarking on the Great Veggie Adventure together – and having fun while doing it – we hope will instill a life-long love of vegetables."
Visit LoveYourVeggies.com to join the makers of Hidden Valley Salad Dressings as they embark on the Great Veggie Adventure – use innovative technology to interact with a virtual gardening project, try new recipes and follow along with the schools and our mom panelists as they help their students and families develop a life-long love of vegetables.
About Hidden Valley®:
The HV Food Products Company is a subsidiary of The Clorox Company, a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with 8,300 employees and fiscal year 2010 revenues of $5.53 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Green Works ® natural home care products, Pine-Sol ® cleaners, Poett ® home care products, Fresh Step ® cat litter, Kingsford ® charcoal, Hidden Valley ® and K C Masterpiece ® dressings and sauces, Brita ® water-filtration products, Glad ® bags and wraps and containers, and Burt's Bees ® natural personal care products. The company's products are manufactured in more than two dozen countries and sold in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $80 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2010 alone, the foundation awarded $3.5 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $8.8 million. For more information about Clorox, visit www.TheCloroxCompany.com.
(1) Produce for Better Health Foundation and ACNielsen; State of the Plate; 2010
(2) 2006 study of two Northern California elementary schools conducted by the University of California Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Butte County Cooperative Extension
SOURCE Hidden Valley