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Nesters melons help fight breast cancer

Grocer working with Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation on new campaign

The melons at Nesters Market have undergone a serious makeover.

The B.C.-based independent chain has partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to remind women about the importance of breast examinations.

Every honeydew, cantaloupe and mini-watermelon in the produce aisle has a pink sticker that reads, “Have you checked yours?” with a link to the website. The placement, size and colour of the stickers make the melons resemble—you guessed it–breasts.

Elaine Webb, senior director of health promotion with the CBCF, says the initiative stemmed from the “Don’t forget to check” campaign that launched five years ago.

That campaign aimed to give women 18 to 25 info on how to reduce breast cancer later in life. But in the last couple of years, Webb said the CBCF realized that women 25 to 39 also needed to be educated.

“Young women are so busy starting their careers and families that breast health is the last thing they think about,” she said.

Placing a reminder at the grocery store seemed an effective way to reach that target group.

Webb said the organization approached several grocers with the campaign idea, with Nesters signing on.

The CBCF supplied the stickers, and produce managers and staff in Nesters’ 11 stores–10 in B.C. and one in Alberta—placed them on the melons.

Webb said she knows that the cheeky campaign is going to garner reactions, and she's prepared for objections.

“We’re trying to get people’s attention,’ she says. “The visual of going into a market and seeing the melons laid out is kind of interesting, and is going to get reactions from shoppers.”

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation encourages women to examine their breasts about once a month, and those over the age of 40 are advised to get mammograms on a regular basis.

The melons can be found in Nesters Markets for the week of Nov. 15 to 21.

Though the busty melons are only a pilot project, Webb said that if successful her organization will look at expanding the campaign in the future.

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