2011 National Apple Month focusing on cross-promotionThis October’s National Apple Month promotion teams Marzetti, Smucker’s and Jif for a national retail display contest with $14,000 offered in prizes.

The 2011 theme for the promotion, “Host an Apple Pairing Party,” plays up the sweets that complement apples: caramel and peanut butter, according to a news release. The U.S. Apple Association, Vienna, Va., administers the promotion, which was founded in 1904.

Produce managers can go to usapple.org/national for banners, posters and a pairing menu that will help cross-promote apples and their sweet counterparts. The menu even specifies which apple varieties go best with the sponsors’ caramel and peanut butter.

The managers can go to the website to submit an application for the prizes also. Applicants must have a display in place at least two weeks between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, and the entry materials must demonstrate the use of apples and sponsored products, while also indicating sales increases, the release said. Entries must be postmarked or e-mailed by Jan. 15, 2012.