This month, frozen treat chain Tasti D-Lite launched the Tasti Healthy Habit Search, a nationwide, year-long contest to find people whose healthy habits, including eating Tasti D-Lite, have improved their life and health.

In the first weeks of the contest, hundreds of Tasti D-Lite customers from across the country entered, sharing how Tasti D-Lite has impacted their health. Long-time Tasti D-Lite customer Joeleen Tepper, 38, who used Tasti D-Lite to help lose the weight she gained during her pregnancy, has been selected as the first prize winner and will be featured in the company’s new marketing campaign kicking off April 1.

“I’m a new mom and made a commitment to getting in shape while getting out with my newborn, even during the grueling winter months,” Tepper says. “Since my son, Finn, was born last fall, I’ve taken almost daily walks with him to the NYC Tasti at 29th and 3rd to get my favorite chocolate pudding flavor pick-me-up. I’m proud to say that I’m more than 30 pounds lighter and back to my pre-baby weight after six months.”

Each month, Tasti D-Lite, which has approximately 50 locations, will recognize one entrant whose Tasti Habit has made a healthy and significant difference in his or her life. The winning entrants’ photos and stories will be featured online and in Tasti D-Lite Centers. Each monthly winner will also receive $1,000 cash and a month of free Tasti in the form of a Tasti TreatCard valued at $155, representing a $5 Tasti purchase for 31 days.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of heartfelt, passionate stories we’ve received just in the first few weeks of this new contest,” says Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite CEO.  “Joeleen’s story is such an ideal one because it’s so real and relatable for our customers.  The fact that Tasti D-Lite served such an important role helping her eat healthfully during her pregnancy and then helping her lose weight after her pregnancy is gratifying to us and inspirational for so many people who want to make healthy changes in their lives without giving up the foods they love.”

The idea for the Tasti Habit campaign came from the many customer stories the company has heard over the years about loyal Tasti fans losing weight and feeling healthier. In fact, three Houston Tasti centers conducted a six-week weight loss contest during the past two years that showed impressive results. In 2010, all of the Houston-area contestants who finished the contest lost weight, and the winner lost 48 pounds, equaling 16.7 percent of his bodyweight. In the 2011 Houston contest completed in mid-February, the average contestant weight loss for the six weeks was 13.8 pounds, and the winning female lost 31 pounds, or 16 percent of her body weight.

What makes the Tasti Healthy Habit Search unique is that it is not just a weight loss competition. “Other brands and television shows are focusing exclusively on weight loss as the indicator of good health,” Amos says. “This contest is broader—it certainly embraces weight loss, because we have heard stories of Tasti customers losing weight for years. But we also expect it to incorporate other health achievements reached through lifestyle changes and a sensible diet that includes Tasti D-Lite. We have customers watching their carb intake who are rarely able to enjoy frozen treats, but can with Tasti D-Lite due to our lower carb and sugar counts. We have customers who are on gluten-free diets and enjoy Tasti’s many gluten-free flavors. We have customers who regularly enjoy Tasti products like our fruit ‘n granola parfait or a smoothie with a protein Tasti Shot as a healthier meal replacement. We’re not looking for a single type of result. We’re looking for people who tell honest stories that reflect a sincere desire to make positive changes in their health and their life.”

Tasti D-Lite is a better-for-you, dairy-based frozen dessert. Its base mixes are made from natural ingredients with no artificial sweeteners, giving it a creamy taste that is lower in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar than ice cream and leading brands of frozen yogurt. Tasti D-Lite is not frozen yogurt because it doesn’t contain yogurt or yogurt cultures. It can’t be called ice cream because it doesn’t have the higher butterfat and total food solids content of ice cream.

Depending on the flavor, of which there are more than 100, Tasti D-Lite has between 70 and 100 calories per four-fluid-ounce serving, with most flavors having 70 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 13 grams of carbs.

Desserts, Marketing & Promotions, News, Tasti D-Lite