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Nick brings out SpongeBob SquarePants carrots & spinach in US

MUMBAI: Nickelodeon has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Grimmway Farms, Inc., Boskovich Farms and LGS Specialty Sales to introduce packaged fruits and vegetables featuring popular Nickelodeon characters.

 

Nickelodeon has licensed several of its popular TV characters -- including SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer -- to several fresh produce distributors that will begin introducing a wide range of fruits and vegetable packages featuring the Nickelodeon characters in supermarkets next month. The agreements are the latest initiative by Nickelodeon to encourage healthier diet and lifestyle choices for kids.

Grimmway Farms, Inc. will produce 1.6 ounce single serving to five pound bags of baby cut and peeled carrots in packages featuring, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Sportacus and Stephanie from the hit Nick Jr. series LazyTown.

Boskovich Farms will feature SpongeBob SquarePants on its bags of spinach. And, LGS Specialty Sales, distributors of oranges, tangerines and clementines, will feature SpongeBob, Dora, Blue's Clues and The Backyardigans characters on its bags of fruit. Upcoming deals also include using Nickelodeon characters on cartons of lowfat milk.

"Carrots are a wonderful snack and one of the most kid-friendly vegetables there are. Partnering with Nickelodeon by adding their popular characters to our packaging gives kids and parents another way to enjoy their favorite healthy snacks," said Grimmway Farms vice president marketing Phil Gruszka, noting that more than five million bags of Nickelodeon carrots will be available at supermarkets in the US.

"Getting children to eat healthier has always been a struggle for parents. SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the most recognisable and adored characters in touch with youth culture today. Partnering him with one of the healthiest vegetables in the supermarket will definitely appeal to both kids and their parents," said Boskovich Farms vice president sales and marketing Don Hobson.

"Nickelodeon recognizes the importance of health and wellness for kids and is proud of the efforts the network is making to encourage kids to eat right and make healthy food choices. We're thrilled to be able to add to the fun of eating fruits and vegetables," said Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products vice president Sherice Torres.

Using its characters to entice kids to try healthy food alternatives is just one of the ways Nickelodeon is working to encourage healthy, balanced lifestyles for kids. Later this month, the network will unveil a series of new PSAs which focus on the importance of starting the day by eating a balanced breakfast. According to a research study -- Kids, Food and Eating Behaviors-- by Nickelodeon and Cogent Research, only 50 per cent of kids in the US eat breakfast everyday and only 39 per cent of kids eat three meals per day on a daily basis.

On-air, the network has committed $20 million and 10 per cent of its airtime to health and wellness messaging. Nick Jr. is currently airing its Power Play Summer, including interstitial programming with themes like 'Love to Dance,' 'Love to Get Up and Go,' and 'Love to Move,' and incorporates the message to kids to 'Get Up, Get Out, and Go Play.' The regular preschool block programming also incorporates the Nick Jr. Power Play Meter, an on-screen meter that measures the activity level of preschoolers at home to continuously encourage kids to keep the activity going while watching TV.

Nick News specials on nutritional literacy have also run on-air, along with a variety of health and wellness PSAs that were introduced last year. The network also employs healthy messaging in its Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Family magazines, and its websites Nick.com and Nickjr.com.

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