Me No Want Cookie!

The effort to re-brand fruits and vegetables for kids now has some cute, furry and iconic allies.

Over the coming months, you might suddenly find yourself and other shoppers whistling “Sunny Day, Sweepin’ the Clouds Away” as you walk through your local supermarket’s produce aisle. That’s because fruit and vegetables are slowly being rebranded as Sesame Street edibles, thanks to a sweeping campaign with the Produce Marketing Association called Eat Brighter, which allows fruit and vegetable companies to use Sesame Street characters free of charge. Get ready for Cookie Monster grapes, Big Bird zucchinis, and maybe even Bert and Ernie rutabagas, all rolled out across North America in an effort to put a dent into the colossal childhood obesity epidemic that continues unabated.

The Eat Brighter campaign—initiated by the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit organization created in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” to combat childhood obesity—hopes to turn the tables on the way kids eat by using the tools of junk food marketing and branding towards selling healthy foods. Essentially it’s trying to kickstart a healthy food trend amongst young foodies by using the same methods the Trix Rabbit or Tony the Tiger use to sell them corn syrup infused cereals, deploying Elmo and Oscar to get kids begging their parents for cantaloupes and kale.

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