SpartanNash Kids Crew mascots make healthy choices fun and easy for kids’ active lifestyles

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Meredith Gremel, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, 616-878-2830

Mascots represent MyPlate food groups, making the USDA’s current nutrition guide fun and interactive

Kids Crew includes online resources, fresh fruit for kids and free supermarket tours at Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery and Dan’s Supermarket stores in six states

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – To make healthy eating choices more fun and interactive for children and reinforce its commitment to health and wellness in every aisle of its retail stores, SpartanNash is introducing its Kids Crew mascots. Each mascot represents a different food group in the USDA’s MyPlate initiative, helping to introduce kids to healthy foods at young age and build better eating patterns for the future.

Kids Crew mascots and the MyPlate food groups they represent include:

  • Fruits – Fuji the monkey is a tennis player and his favorite food is fruit salad. He teaches us to eat fruit and to be creative and resourceful to reduce food waste.
  • Veggies – Pepper the rabbit likes to skateboard and her favorite foods are carrots with hummus and veggie pizza. Pepper teaches us to eat lots of veggies to be alert and focused.
  • Grains – Oatis the horse is a soccer player and his favorite foods are oatmeal and pasta. Oatis teaches us to choose whole grains for energy to fuel our bodies to run, jump and play.
  • Proteins – Chia the cheetah likes to run and her favorite foods are tuna fish and beans. She teaches us to eat protein foods and be physically active every day.
  • Dairy – Colby the polar bear is a hockey player and his favorite food is cheese. He teaches us about the dairy foods and building strong bones and muscles.
  • Healthy fats and limiting added sugar – While she doesn’t represent a food group, Olive the owl teaches us how nutritious foods help us to learn and be intelligent. Her favorite foods are sunflower seeds and nuts. Olive likes to play chess and read.
Kids Crew artwork: assorted anthropomorphized animals in sports gear

“Kids Crew encourages our store guests to think about nutrition and eating healthy in a fun and different way, and Colby, Oatis and the whole gang will help kids see the importance of each food group that makes up MyPlate,” Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer Lori Raya said. “Food plays such an important role in our everyday lives, and our Kids Crew mascots are just another way we’re helping our customers on their health and wellness journey.”

To learn more about each character and find healthy recipes, visit:

Store guests can look for the Kids Crew mascots in SpartanNash stores – including Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Dan’s Supermarket, Family Fresh Market and Forest Hills Foods – snap a photo and submit it to [email protected] to be entered to win a gift card and other great Kids Crew prizes. Each month, one winner from each store banner will be randomly selected.

Kids Crew helps kids and parents make healthy choices for their active lifestyles through fun, educational activities, including in-store tours; Free Fresh Fruit for Kids including bananas and clementines; and online resources.

Kids Crew is available at Family Fares, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Dan’s Supermarket, Family Fresh Market and Forest Hills Foods stores in Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Kids Crew is part of SpartanNash’s “Living Well” initiatives, which also include Nutrition Pathways, an ever-growing assortment of organic offerings, free and reduced-cost prescriptions at their pharmacies, kids programming and Regional Wellness Specialists who serve company-owned retail stores and communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and the greater Omaha, Neb. area.

Wellness Specialists work with community partners and healthcare organizations to raise awareness about programs such as Kids Crew and provide resources about nutrition and optimal food choices through in-store wellness activities like grocery store tours, cooking classes and healthy food sampling.


About SpartanNash

SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to a diverse group of independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges; as well as premier fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. SpartanNash serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 155 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare, Martin’s Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery and Dan’s Supermarket. Through its MDV military division, SpartanNash is a leading distributor of grocery products to U.S. military commissaries.