BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kids and their parents will learn about healthy foods enjoyed around the world with Disney Channel’s “Pass the Plate,” a daily series of engaging short form programming premiering during the #1 basic cable series for kids 6-14, "Hannah Montana" (7:00-7:30 p.m., ET/PT) today.
“Pass the Plate” is the newest element in The Walt Disney Company’s ongoing commitment to help families achieve healthier lifestyles. “Pass the Plate” segments aim to inspire kids and ‘tweens by focusing on the preparation and nutritional benefits of one food item – mangoes, rice, fish, tomatoes, bananas and spinach – and taking viewers across the globe on a tour of how these foods are enjoyed by kids and families in each country. Rotating on-air each day, the segments will be presented in multiple languages with subtitles.
Also, the Disney Consumer Products (DCP) division in the United Kingdom and Tesco announced today that they will launch a line of healthy Tesco/Disney-branded food products featuring Disney and Disney/Pixar characters. In addition to meeting Disney’s nutritional guidelines, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no added trans fats will be used in any of the products. The first Tesco/Disney kids’ products will launch in November 2007 and will expand throughout 2008.
Last week, DCP in the U.S. launched new products in its Disney Garden line, an innovative new line of character-themed fruit and vegetable snacks and sides that are kid-tested and conveniently packaged. Additionally, the Disney Magic Selections line available at Kroger stores in the U.S. has grown to more than 200 products since its July 2006 launch.
“Pass the Plate” and the agreement with Tesco are launching one year after The Walt Disney Company announced pioneering policies to associate its brands and characters with a more nutritionally balanced range of foods. Since then, new guidelines for licensed foods and promotions aimed at children have governed Disney business relationships and activities in the U.S.
Similar guidelines have been in place in Europe since the beginning of 2007 and will be introduced in Japan and China next month.
“Parents around the world clearly want help in achieving a healthier lifestyle for their families and we are happy to be their partner in reaching that important goal,” said Jennifer Anopolsky, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company.
Disney food policies limit the use of the company name and its characters to only those kid-focused products that meet specific guidelines, including limits on calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar. Disney also made nutritionally-beneficial changes in the meals served to children at all Disney-operated restaurants in the Disney Parks and Resorts.
Disney’s food guidelines are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and were developed in cooperation with two top child health and wellness experts, Dr. James O. Hill, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and Dr. Keith Thomas Ayoob, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Since announcing its food guidelines, Disney has made adaptations and changes. The following is an overview of how Disney started to improve the food options it offers to kids and families. These represent only some of Disney’s efforts, and are the initial steps in a long-term commitment.
Making healthier foods available and appealing to kids and families
DCP is adding better-for-you items to its product line. Its expanded Disney Garden menu includes the following choices, which will be available this fall at leading food retailers in the fresh produce department:
In October 2006 Walt Disney Parks & Resorts changed the standard kids meals to feature nutritious side dishes and beverages, and the overwhelming majority of guests choose these options. Today a kid’s meal automatically comes with fruit or vegetables on the side and juice, water or low-fat milk to drink. Fries and soda are available upon special request, at no additional cost. In the U.S., all adult meals at quick service and table service restaurants also offer more nutritious side options. Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland also offer kids meals in this way, which are being well received by guests.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts is committed to offering better snack food options that are widely available and very appealing. The number of fresh fruit carts at the parks is steadily increasing while other nutritious snacks like nuts and trail mix are also more readily available.
Finally, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts is phasing out added trans fats from all food items served in its parks and is on track to achieve this by end of 2007 in the U.S. In addition, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo will be phasing out trans fats over the next two years.
Disney promotional food guidelines are also used by The Walt Disney Studios when marketing new feature films and home entertainment products. For example, consumers will receive a $5 mail-in rebate towards the purchase of a Ratatouille DVD with purchase of Del Monte canned vegetables; a $3 mail-in rebate with purchase of Star Fine Foods Oil & Vinegar; and $5 mail-in rebate with purchase of President's Cheese.
Disney Channel, Toon Disney and ABC Kids use their programming to model behavior that demonstrates good nutrition and physical activity. At least one episode of each series currently in production centers on a healthy lifestyle theme. Episodes of "Hannah Montana," "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and "That's So Raven" and over 100 short programs have been dedicated to encouraging healthier lifestyles.
Hosted by actress Brenda Song of Disney Channel's hit series "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," the multicultural "Pass the Plate" series features young stars in Argentina, Australia, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States each telling a story about the way their cultures and families eat healthy.
Culinary educator David Glickman, who helps people of all ages overcome fears and frustrations in the kitchen by teaching them the how and why of food preparation, is a consultant to the "Pass the Plate" series.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment joined with the USDA, MyPyramid, and the Ad Council to bring together the recognizable and appealing characters from The Jungle Book to help promote "The Bare Necessities" of Healthy Living through a PSA collaboration. The PSA included TV, outdoor, radio and online elements and targeted both kids and parents with the message of "Eat Right. Be Active. Have Fun."
Disney also has been communicating the My Pyramid curriculum to kids, along with information about important nutrients using the back/side panels of its licensed food products.
Finally, Walt Disney Internet Group launched an educational website – Disney.com/healthykids – that gives kids the principles of My Pyramid and helps them learn about nutrition and activity through interactive games and their favorite Disney characters.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company, had annual revenues of over $34 billion in its most recent fiscal year, and a market capitalization of nearly $66 billion as of Oct. 19, 2007.