LANDOVER, Md. -- In its continuing effort to court and educate young families, Giant Food here has revamped its "Kids' Corner" program to include nutritional tips for parents.
The Kids' Corner flier is part of Giant's "Healthy Start...Food to Grow On" campaign that provides to children information about healthy food choices and proper eating habits. The program is for families with young children ages 2 to 6 years old. Displayed each month in the chain's 161 stores, the Kids' Corner sheet has become a store staple, according to Odonna Mathews, Giant's vice president of consumer affairs. "It's been very popular. In fact, we've extended it because of its success," she said.
"There's a recipe each month which we've developed that a child can make with a parent or an adult."
Mathews said the new "parent tips" section was created at the request of Giant shoppers. "They said, 'Give me some information that is separate from the child's.' "
For example, the April 1995 Kids' Corner focused on the subject of fiber. Along with a recipe for cinnamon bread sticks, parent tips included information such as: ·"Fiber is the part of plants that is not digested in the stomach or intestines. Instead, it passes through to help keep the digestive tract healthy...;"
·"Fiber is not present in meat or dairy products;" ·"Cooking fruits and vegetables does not lower their fiber content. Canned and cooked fruits and vegetables are still good sources of fiber."
Giant not only has the young parents coming to retrieve a Kids' Corner flier, but the chain has devised a way to bring this all-important shopper back to the store.
On the back of each flier, there is an activity for the children. If a child completes the activity and brings the Kids' Corner sheet back to a Giant/Super G manager's office by the end of the month, he or she will receive a reward.
"They either get a coupon for an item such as a free apple, a free orange or a free kiwi, or it could be a giveaway -- things like stickers, a ruler or a poster," explained Mathews. "So there's a combination between the food item itself (sometimes to make the recipe) or a gift giveaway."
The redemption of the rewards also tells Giant how well the fliers are being received. Mathews said 200,000 copies of Kids' Corner are printed and distributed each month. Redemption, she said, varies from 500 to 4,000 a month chainwide. "And that's pretty good."
The activity of the month for the April edition was entitled "Find the Fiber," which included drawings of nine foods. The children were asked to circle the items that come from plants and cross out those derived from animals.
The activity page features a book list as well, where Giant recommends that the youngsters visit their local library to check out books pertaining to the subject of the month.
"The response has been very positive, both from children as well as parents. It would be rare that I go into a Giant store and not see someone picking up the flier, or see the flier in someone's shopping cart as they're walking around the store.
"I think it's something people look for on a regular basis," continued Mathews.
Vendor sponsors are also playing a role in the Healthy Start campaign's growth. "We have a sponsor each month for the flier," Mathews said. "We have a had a series of sponsors who obviously are interested in getting their message out to this young population and to adults.
"We write the materials, develop the recipe, and give out the reward, but the sponsor is paying for the printing of it, as well as the reward. So, it's kind of a nice, cooperative program." -