Dole is using its position as one of the world’s largest providers of fresh fruits and vegetables to make the planet a happier, healthier place in 2015.
Determined to show that a produce-based lifestyle has far-reaching and delicious benefits, the Westlake Village, Calif.-based health and nutrition leader has brought together all areas of the company to directly challenge North Americans to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet – and is even offering various rewards for doing so.
The company’s “Get Up and Grow!” officially launches this week as a healthy-lifestyle initiative that goes beyond past Dole education campaigns to give consumers more than a dozen tangible ways to improve their nutritional well-being. Representing a rare joint effort between Dole Fresh Fruit of Westlake Village Dole Fresh Vegetables of Monterey, Calif., and the Kannapolis, N.C.-based Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI), the multi-platform program seeks to impact consumer behavior in the home, at the store, on the road and all points in-between.
Dole also announced that Jenn LaVardera, MS, RD, will oversee the initiative’s educational efforts as the nutrition and health communications manager for DNI and the Dole Food Company. With past experience in TV, print and online communications, LaVardera will work with Nicholas Gillitt, DNI director and Dole VP of nutrition research, to spread Dole’s message about the advantages of a plant-based diet via social media, PR, collaborations with other RDs and health influencers and DNI’s widely read e-newsletter, Dole Nutrition News.
“For more than a century, consumers in the U.S., Canada and throughout the world have looked to Dole as the global model of freshness, nutrition and health,” explained Bil Goldfield, Dole Food Company’s director of corporate communications. “While we’re grateful for this extraordinary level of trust, we know that with it comes the responsibility to impact consumer awareness and behavior to create a brighter future. ‘Get Up and Grow!’ is that commitment to a healthier and happier tomorrow.”
According to Goldfield and Carrieann Arias, Dole Fresh Vegetables VP of marketing, Dole’s fresh divisions and research arm have come together like never before to show that eating fresh fruits and vegetables can be nutritious, delicious and fun. Program elements range from compelling new recipes, serving, pairing and entertaining suggestions to the Dole Get Up and Grow! Tour, which will bring healthy-living insights, recipes, free tastes and unique, hands-on experiences to supermarkets and special events in cities across the U.S. and Canada in summer 2015.
“This year, we’re giving North Americans more tangible ways than ever to adopt a healthier life,” said Arias. “While we’ll always offer some of the world’s most remarkable fruit and vegetable recipes and serving suggestions – after all, this is Dole – we’re also working closely with the experts at DNI to show some of the amazing science supporting a plant-based lifestyle.”
“It is our hope is that Get Up and Grow becomes that extra incentive that many of us need to make 2015 our healthiest, happiest year yet.”
A highlight of the program is the first-ever Get Up and Grow! Healthy Living Pledge, which will ask the public to join a nationwide movement toward a healthier, plant-based diet in 2015 and beyond. Participants will be able to personalize and submit an interactive online pledge to live healthier, including eating more fruits and vegetables, and share that pledge with friends and family. Future pledge-takers will even have the opportunity to set personal “happiness” goals and receive free DOLE® fruits and vegetables and other wellness incentive rewards for their efforts.
Other elements include expanded use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, to leverage Dole’s 2 million combined social followers, among the most in the produce industry.
On the PR side, Dole will work through LaVardera and others to expand its relationship with registered dietitians (RDs), supermarket nutritionists, food and lifestyle bloggers and other influentials in 2015 through media appearances, tastings and educational summits, including a dedicated event at the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus. The brand will participate in retailer-sponsored special events, and create healthy recipe options for National Salad Month in May, National Banana Bread Day on Feb. 23, National Banana Split Day on Aug. 25 and other food- and eating-related holidays.
Beyond past initiatives, Get Up and Grow seeks to increase consumer and influencer involvement in the Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI), created by Dole Chairman David H. Murdock, as the world’s definitive, accessible, scientifically validated resource on plant-based nutrition and health. DNI not only harvests findings from universities around the world – including the eight schools working with the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory – but also conducts new research of its own and distributes the latest results via newsletters, reference materials, cookbooks and in-school, teacher-education programs that reach millions.
To take the Get Up and Grown pledge, or to access continuously initiative news including Get Up and Grow Tour stops, seasonal and special-occasion recipes and the latest health and nutrition information from DNI and the Dole Nutrition News, go to www.dole.com/getupandgrow.
About Dole Food Company, Inc.
Dole Food Company, Inc., is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research. For more information, visit www.dole.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dolefresh.