SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Del Monte(R) vegetables featuring Sesame Street characters will be offered in specialty four-packs of each variety in grocery stores nationwide, and eight and twelve-packs in select club retailers, in order to help promote healthier eating habits among the nation's youth. The product packaging will feature one of the three Sesame Street characters -- Elmo with Green Beans, Grover with Sweet Peas and Cookie Monster with Corn -- along with on-pack coloring activities developed by Sesame Workshop. With recent studies indicating that fewer than 15% of elementary age school children eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, Del Monte Foods' partnership with the nonprofit educational organization Sesame Workshop is a timely one. The partnership was first announced in June 2006 during the Licensing Show in New York City. "Children used to seeing Elmo and his friends Cookie Monster and Grover on television will now see them in grocery stores everywhere, encouraging them to eat their vegetables," said Apu Mody, Senior Vice President, Consumer Products for Del Monte. "At Del Monte, we are passionate about nourishing families and enriching lives every day by offering a variety of healthful, convenient and great tasting products. We are proud to support Sesame Workshop's Healthy Habits for Life initiative, a content-based program to help young children and their families lead healthier lives through improved nutrition, physical activity, and hygiene." According to a 2001 study from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Policy and Promotion, diets of the majority of school-aged children in the United States "need improvement." Additional studies have shown that developing healthy habits at a young age can help put children on a positive trajectory for a healthy life. Fortunately, research suggests that a window of opportunity exists during the preschool years in which children's healthy habits can be positively shaped by their early social environments. A study conducted by the Sesame Workshop in 2003 indicated that preschoolers' intake of a particular food, in this case broccoli, increased by 28 percent if the product was branded with a Sesame Street character. "We are thrilled to team up with Del Monte Foods, a company with a long history of providing quality foods to families in the US, to offer vegetables featuring the Sesame Street characters," said Maura Regan, Vice President and General Manager of Global Licensing, Sesame Workshop. "Our Healthy Habits for Life initiative harnesses the power of Sesame Street to make health and well-being crucial to the development of young children in much the same way it has done with learning to read and write." About Sesame Workshop Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in the lives of children around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind award-winning programs like Dragon Tales, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat, Pinky Dinky Doo and groundbreaking multimedia productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. As a nonprofit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of Sesame Street, Dragon Tales, Sagwa, and Pinky products back into its educational projects for children around the world. Find the Workshop online at http://www.sesameworkshop.org. About Del Monte Foods Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest and most well known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded and private label food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating over $3 billion in net sales in fiscal 2005. With a powerful portfolio of brands including Del Monte(R), Contadina(R), StarKist(R), S&W(R), College Inn(R), 9Lives(R), Meow Mix(R), Kibbles 'n Bits(R), Pup-Peroni(R), Snausages(R), Pounce(R) and Meaty Bone(R), Del Monte products are found in nine out of ten American households. For more information on Del Monte Foods Company (NYSE: DLM), visit the Company's website at http://www.delmonte.com. Del Monte. Nourishing Families. Enriching Lives.
SOURCE Del Monte Foods