WILMINGTON, Del. - As the Produce for Better Health Foundation prepares to replace "5 A Day" with a new brand, retailers praised the organization's work to boost consumption of fresh produce.
At its board meeting last month, officials unveiled "Fruits & Veggies - More Matters!" complete with a colorful new logo that features a stylized figure juggling pieces of fruit and vegetables.
Supermarket produce managers and other industry sources told SN they liked the 15-year-old 5 A Day brand - one manager even said he's sorry to see it go. They are hopeful the new brand will reach a broader audience.
"I can appreciate the significance of taking the number out. What really counts is just eating more fruits and vegetables no matter how much you're eating now," said Dave Johnson, assistant produce manager at Bayview Thriftway, Olympia, Wash.
"Nobody's going to overdose on mangoes or grapes," he said. "The new slogan addresses customers like ours who already eat a lot of produce as well as those who may not be eating enough."
A destination department for Bayview, fresh produce makes up 14% of total store sales, Johnson said.
Another produce manager said he liked the new brand, and like Johnson, thinks it will have more universal appeal. Some suggested the new slogan is geared more toward adults than 5 A Day.
"I'm glad they are doing this. I think it'll resonate with more people than 5 A Day did," said Steve Berlin, produce manager at 10-unit Kowalski's Woodbury, Minn., store. "The 'more matters' makes a lot of sense."
Bill Price, director of perishables at Associated Grocers of Salt Lake City, credited the foundation for its efforts to boost sales.
"They've tried to find new ways to drive sales," Price said. "5 A Day was good and The Color Way was a good enhancement to that. This, I think, too, will be a big-time improvement."
At least one retailer, who happens to be one of Associated Grocers' customers, doesn't want to discontinue "5 A Day."
"I think '5 A Day for Better Health' is great. Why change it?" said Chris Hummer, produce manager at Day's Market, Heber, Utah.
"Kids grasped that, with the yellow sun and bunch of vegetables. We have to be thinking of the kids. Look at how successful McDonald's is" marketing to children.
Advocating a certain number of servings, however, as 5 A Day does, was not entirely effective, according to market research commissioned by the foundation.
"While a numerical direction worked for many people, there was a failure factor. Some could feel they failed if they didn't achieve five servings," said Barbara Campbell, PBHF senior executive, marketing and communications.
Development of the new brand got underway last summer when the foundation hired Sterling Brands, New York, to survey consumers and then recommend a positive and energizing message. The research showed that the mother is still the "gatekeeper" of the family, that she's the primary shopper, meal planner and cook.
"Moms made it clear they are aware of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables and also that they didn't want to be preached to or scared into anything," Campbell said. "The new message says any small step toward eating more fruits and vegetables matters when it comes to staying healthy."
The new logo will make its official debut early in 2007 at a consumer event.
In the meantime, the PBHF and its partners are developing a usage manual, point-of-sales materials and other related merchandising and marketing tools, as well as a new website.