One of the things that most appealed to us about working with Kegel’s Produce, a distributor of fruits and vegetables to food service and retail customers, was the presence of its corporate chef.
Goulet conceives of school competition
In Chef Bill Scepansky, who trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Kegel’s had a passionate foodie and advocate for healthful lifestyles. We already had helped to secure regular appearances by Scepansky on abc27’s morning news.
With Chef Bill headlining the effort, we wanted to get students to eat better and to exercise more often. To do this, we leveraged Kegel’s existing relationship with Hempfield School District by developing the Produce Pentathlon.
We borrowed from the world of amateur athletics to name this event: while modern pentathlon comprises five athletic events, the Produce Pentathlon offered five monthly challenges. Each of the district’s 10 schools was judged on how much its students consumed of each month’s “produce pick.” The winning schools would receive cash prizes for the purchase of gym equipment.
We secured the participation of Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor to help with the event kickoff, which generated news coverage of students reciting the “Produce Pledge.” We wrote and designed “The Vine,” the monthly event newsletter that provided competition standings, healthful recipes, tips for handling produce, games and links to helpful websites.
Thirty percent increase in produce orders
During the five months, Hempfield students ordered 17,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables – a 30 percent increase in produce orders compared with what they typically ordered.
The director of the school district’s child nutrition department noted in a letter to Kegel’s: “We were able to impact not only the taste buds of children, but have made successful changes to the menus. … Raising awareness and acceptance of fruits and vegetables was our primary goal and it seems obvious that this promotion met and exceeded my expectations and I hope yours.”