Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's are in talks over LazyTown, raising the possibility of exclusive lines for each.
The esoteric show and its related merchandise are officially credited with boosting Iceland's produce spend by 22% over 12 years, and it is set for a big launch in the UK before the end of the year. It has been broadcast to British children since 2005, but Scheving now wants commercial and government support. The show has taken Iceland and 102 other countries by storm with its message of healthy living. For the uninitiated, it revolves around new arrival in town, Stephanie. She is helped by superhero Sportacus to choose between healthy options and the unhealthy food offered by junk-food-munching villain Robbie Rotten. Fruit and veg is known as sports candy.
"We slip in an educational programme, but without any finger-pointing," said Scheving. "We never tell children what to do, but the amazing thing is they ask for fruit after the show." After a LazyTown musical staged in Iceland, retailers sold out of carrots and struggled with demand for months, said Scheving. He wants support to launch his Energy Book for kids, which offers them healthy treats if they stick to pledges on food and exercise.
"We know this works - the only question is how big it is going to be in the UK. I want to do it with a big bang so everyone knows about it," he added.
In Iceland, Scheving teamed up with the leading retailer and he's considering such an approach in Britain.
The fresh produce industry is taking note. Worldwide Fruit recently named LazyTown as the biggest hero in its Jazz apple campaign.