Boost Produce Sales With Sesame Street Characters


An image of the “Cookie Monster” on a banana and “Elmo” on grab-and-go containers of apple slices is a unique marketing tool that convenience retailers and suppliers can now use to grow healthy sales of fresh fruits and vegetables!

NACS recently announced a new collaboration with the eat brighter!™ program to promote fruit and vegetable sales at convenience stores, which allows nine Sesame Street character images to be used directly on packaging, marketing materials, including websites and apps, and signage at various places throughout the store or at the fuel island.

The eat brighter! program is a partnership among the Produce Marketing Association (PMA); Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street; and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). The eat brighter! program, launched in October 2013, allows suppliers, distributors and retailers to promote fresh fruits and vegetables with the help of nine popular Sesame Street character images like Big Bird and Elmo—all royalty-free. The NACS collaboration with eat brighter! was announced as this year’s PHA Summit.

Participating NACS retailer or supplier members simply pay a one-time administrative fee for royalty-free images to be used on packaging and marketing materials of fresh fruit and vegetables—a multi-million-dollar opportunity for a fraction of the cost. (The sliding scale also incorporates the value of PMA membership.)

Convenience retailers with:

  • 1-5 stores: $500 ($150 for PMA members). NACS members in this range can take advantage of the PMA member price of $150.
  • 6-10 stores: $500 ($200 for PMA members). NACS members in this range can take advantage of the PMA member price of $200.
  • 10+ stores: $3,500 ($950 for PMA members)

The cost structure for suppliers is similar, ranging from $200 for a small supplier (PMA member) to $3,500 for a large one (non-PMA-member). When you join the eat brighter! program, you get access to a turnkey online marketing toolkit to make using the characters fast and easy.

The program has already proven successful: A PMA survey found that suppliers using the materials report produce sales increased 5.3%, while another study found that kids also eat 31% more fruits and vegetables when they are promoted by a Sesame Street character.

NACS research suggests that consumers want to see more healthy choices in convenience stores. Having quality food options is especially important to consumers ages 18-34, and they are the parents of kids in the eat brighter! target age range of 2-5 years old.

If you’re ready to get started with eat brighter! visit the PMA website, or email