Industry Partners

Produce for Kids Expands Mission

Changes brand to Healthy Family Project to better reflect new efforts
Healthy Family Project

Produce for Kids is expanding its mission to create a healthier generation, beginning with changing its consumer-facing brand to Healthy Family Project. While Produce for Kids has long worked with produce suppliers and retailers to raise money for children and families in need, as well as promote healthful produce-rich eating, the new project will invite new partnerships with health-focused suppliers throughout the entire store.

Our hope is to work with brands that help make up a healthy family,” says Amanda Keefer, managing director of Healthy Family Project and Produce for Kids. “We recognize that fruits and veggies are king in the healthy family realm, but [we’re] bringing it full circle.” The Healthy Family Project foresees partnering with companies that produce everything from mineral-based sunscreen to cereal bars and kombucha to healthful frozen foods. Content from the Healthy Family project will also address mental health topics and tips for socially distanced learning.

The Produce for Kids brand will remain focused within grocery retail, aligning with produce companies to execute in-store campaigns throughout the year. In addition to Produce for Kids, brands under the Healthy Family Project umbrella include Food Rx, Power Your Lunchbox and Mission for Nutrition.

“We are excited to expand into the healthy lifestyle space in a way that will allow us to extend our effectiveness for current and new produce partners,” said John Shuman, founder of Produce for Kids and president of Shuman Farms, in a statement. “We will remain rooted in helping our retail partners and sponsors connect with their shoppers while making a difference.”

Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit will be the first opportunity for Healthy Family Project to showcase the new family of brands structure. A scheduled Food Rx demo will take place at the Healthy Family Project’s Fresh Summit Marketplace page featuring digital partner National Watermelon Promotion Board. The food-as-medicine-inspired video series, hosted by registered dietitian Julie Harrington, focuses on the important role food plays in overall health and often features a health-conscious brand partner.

“Although Fresh Summit looks different this year, we believe it was the right space to announce our expansion,” continued Shuman. “I had a goal 20 years ago to bring the produce industry together to give back and now as we pass $7 million raised, I realize there’s no limit to the impact we can make as an organization in the healthy living space.”

Visitors to the Healthy Family Project Marketplace page will be able to download everything they need to better understand opportunities and the future vision of Produce for Kids and Healthy Family Project. In addition to Food Rx at the Marketplace page, a new "Serious Snacking With Village Farms and Healthy Family Project" in-the-kitchen video will be showcased by Village Farms on its Fresh Summit Marketplace page.

Fueling the foundation for this expansion was the overall growth in all areas of Produce for Kids business in the past two years. With the addition of several new retail partners and health-conscious brand partners, as well as the growth of the Produce for Kids social media, website and podcast, it was a natural choice to transition the brands under the Healthy Family Project umbrella, says the organization.

Website traffic has been trending up year over year and has already seen 29% increase in 2020, while organic traffic is up 65%. Instagram engagement showed a 32% increase last year, while Pinterest is reaching an average of 3.2 million people per month. In the new Healthy Family Facebook group, where parents talk about everything from how to pick a pineapple to what sunscreen is best, membership skyrocketed in growth by 191%. The Healthy Family podcast, which covers everything from meal prep to mental health, is close to 20,000 unique downloads.

Over the summer, the Produce for Kids website, now, received a facelift in anticipation of the expansion. Shoppers looking for their specific Produce for Kids in-store campaign are now able to identify their neighborhood grocer on the homepage and skip directly to that grocer’s dedicated page to find out the latest news.

Other updates included a new robust searchable recipe index to help consumers find everything from plant-based dishes to air-fryer recipes. The Healthy Family Project blog, now offering a wide range of topics, and podcast are also featured prominently throughout the website, along with a Produce Tips section with tips on how to select, prepare and store over 60 different commodities.



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