Tuesday, December 17, 2013 by Lee Mannering
According to an article I read earlier today on Fruitnet, a group of 11 fruit- and vegetable-based characters have been unveiled as official mascots of Expo 2015, the world fair set to take place in Milan, Italy. The family of characters includes a clove of garlic, a watermelon, a banana, a fig, a blue corn cob, a mango, an apple, a pomegranate, a pear, and a trio of radishes. They were developed by Disney Italia.
The Fruitnet article (available here) notes that the mascots will have their own personalities, stories, and character traits. Children are also being asked to help name the characters.
The theme for Expo 2015 is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” and will incorporate fruits and vegetables, along with the sustainable international food supply. Expo Commissioner Giuseppe Sala said that “each animated food will bring an aspect of the exhibition’s theme to life and be a spokesperson for good habits.”
This announcement, along with the recent PMA-Sesame Workshop partnership, makes it an exciting time to be in the produce industry. Whether its through Disney, Sesame, or other innovative marketing efforts, reaching out to kids and their parents and helping them make healthier choices easier and more accessible in a way that is fun, exciting, and engaging is a great way to increase consumption.
Just last night, I overheard my four-year-old enthusiastically pick an apple over a yogurt when offered a choice of a pre-bedtime snack – which made Dad very happy from both a personal and professional standpoint.