THE SURPRISING POWER OF DINNER

   
To Press Releases listSolon, Ohio,Feb 5, 2010

STOUFFER’S® Challenges Families to Eat Together and Experience Remarkable Benefits

On a recent Thursday night, the Benson family of Dix Hills, New York enjoyed a meal of homemade pizza and salad around their dining room table. “This is one of our favorite meals together,” says Debra Benson. “In the past we would have gone through a drive-thru and eaten in the car.” While the motivation to dine together as a family at home may have started as a financial decision, the Benson’s choice has positively impacted their family and not just their finances.

The family dinner ritual has been in steady decline as time-starved Americans are stretched thin while they juggle work, school and extra-curricular activities. One of the first sacrifices can be quality moments spent together at the dinner table.

In 2009, in partnership with the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University, STOUFFER’S launched the LET’S FIX DINNER Challenge. The successful program will continue in 2010 with STOUFFER’S issuing a challenge to American families to eat together more often. The program website, www.letsfixdinner.com, provides meal ideas and information about the proven benefits of eating together as a family. The LET’S FIX DINNER Challenge invites families to routinely log their meals online in order to track their progress. By frequently logging their meals, families are positively reinforced to maintain their commitment to this important time around the table.

In 2003, CASA released a report that found the more often children have dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs. Family dinners also have a direct impact on positive self-image, higher grades and parent-child communication.

As part of the LET’S FIX DINNER program, Carleton Kendrick, a leading family therapist, is working to encourage five real-life families to sit down to family dinners more often. These families, including the Bensons, will be featured in the STOUFFER’S advertising campaign and viewers can follow their stories online at www.letsfixdinner.com. Kendrick says, “Dinners provide more than just meals. Dinners establish rituals that children come to depend on as part of the family structure; they are a powerful force that gives parents and kids a sense of security and tradition.”

“The STOUFFER’S brand believes in the importance of eating together as a family, and we need to bring America back to the table,” said Brett White, Marketing Director for STOUFFER’S, part of Nestlé Prepared Foods Company. “We view our meals as more than just lasagna or mac ‘n cheese – they play a role in making it easy for families to come together at the table. We are passionate about promoting the power of the dinner table to create short- and long-term benefits for families.”

For more information about the STOUFFER’S LET’S FIX DINNER initiative, visit www.letsfixdinner.com.

*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as “CASA”) or any of its members.

About Nestlé USA

Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for fourteen consecutive years, Nestlé provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with Nestlé® Toll House®, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that make good living possible. That’s what “Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Well-known Nestlé USA brands include: Nestlé® Toll House®, Nestlé® Nesquik®, Nestlé® Coffee-mate®, Stouffer’s®, Lean Cuisine®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, Nescafé®, NESTLÉ® Juicy Juice®, Buitoni®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, Nestlé® Crunch®, Nestlé® Butterfinger®, Wonka®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza. Nestlé USA, with 2010 sales of $10.4 billion, is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2010 sales of $105 billion.

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