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Kashi Canada's quest to plant it forward

Health food brand gets Canadians closer to real food with urban garden project

To promote its urban garden program, Kashi Canada is introducing kids to some foreign looking objects: vegetables. A 90-second video from Traffik features children correctly identifying common lunch and snack foods, such as pepperoni pizza, french fries and grilled cheese. But when shown whole peppers, a cabbage or radishes, the kids react with puzzled expressions. One child examining celery calls it “a stick lettuce.” Gradually, the kids begin to interact with the food, smelling it and touching it. Traffik’s executive creative director Cam Boyd said the idea for the video was based on a theory and the team’s personal experience with raising children. “You have a cultural hypothesis based on what we’re learning in our own lives,” he said. “It’s one of those situations where your theories are proven correct, but you’re almost sad it’s proven correct. Those raw vegetables are not as identifiable to the kids as things they eat more often.” The video ends with kids planting vegetables at one of Kashi’s urban gardens, which is part of the health food brand’s Plant it Forward initiative. In May 2014, Kashi announced a partnership with not-for-profit organization Evergreen to help grow and sustain urban gardens in communities across Canada. Together, the two have planted 18 gardens so far. Food marketers and media have been feeding consumer appetite for healthy, locally grown fare over the last few years. Hellmann’s, for instance, introduced its real food movement in 2008 through a similar partnership with Evergreen. The Kashi Canada video went live Nov. 3 on its YouTube and social networking pages and has been viewed nearly 385,000 times. This article first appeared in Marketing Magazine.

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