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Making carrots cool

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 5:55pm

It's a timeless tale: Mom makes healthy meal, kid doesn't eat it.

How do you make this appetizing to finicky young eaters?

"We've got to change the rules, we've got to be more innovative, we've got to make it fun," says Jeff Dunn of Bolthouse Farms.

California-based Bolthouse Farms and other carrot farmers have teamed up to market carrots in the same way other companies market junk food.

Combine splashy packaging with a hip, even sexy online presence and you get the attention of teens.

"The kids have told us, funny enough, that when they eat baby carrots in this new packaging, they taste better," Dunn says.

The baby carrot campaign is also testing carrot vending machines in high schools in Syracuse and Cincinnati, right next to junk food machines.

Food branding specialist Dr. Brian Wansink tested the theory of making carrots cool on a group of 4-year-olds, boosting the intrigue by calling them "X-Ray Vision Carrots."

"They're still the same basic carrot, but what we found is that kids were 40% more likely to take and eat them if they had the silly little label," he says.

Call it silly, call it a stretch of the truth.

Just don't call it "good for you" if you want kids to eat it.

The new baby carrot marketing campaign will hit stores nationwide before Halloween when stores will start carrying "Scarrots."
 

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