Courtesy California Avocado CommissionCalifornia Avocado Commission staff and chef Susan Spicer meet with representatives of Save Mart Supermarkets, one of the winners in the commission's 2013 ad contest.Save Mart Supermarkets earned the top spot in the California Avocado Commission’s yearly advertising contest, while a Houston Food Town store took the grand prize in the display contest.
The Irvine, Calif.-based commission ran the contest from May 1 to Sept. 11, a period covering U.S. summer holidays.
The ad contest encouraged retailers to merchandise and feature California avocados, resulting in 162 ads during the contest period. Of those, 112 featuring the Hand Grown in California logo. Recent research by Bovitz Inc. found that in the commission’s advertising markets, 45% of shoppers check for country of origin, up from 30% in 2011 according to a news release.
Retailers registered for the contest earned points for every California avocado ad run, plus bonus points for using the logo and for ads in summer holiday promotions.
Save Mart Supermarkets scored 172 points for the top spot. Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market came second with 162. Along with Lucky Supermarkets, Bashas’ Grocery Stores, Cardenas Markets, Jons International Marketplace, Safeway, Stater Bros. and Vallarta Supermarkets, they each won an Apple iPad Mini. Seventeen retailers received prizes.
Food Town store No. 7 in Houston also received an Apple iPad Mini for winning the display contest. There were 31 entrants who submitted photos of displays using California avocado point-of-sale material. Each qualified entry received a $25 Amazon gift card; 15 stores with the top point totals each received a Canon digital camera.
Displays were judged on size, use of ripe California avocados, use of California avocado point-of-sale and overall creativity. Many incorporated American flags and red, white and blue balloons during Fourth of July promotions. Others built displays with complementary produce items such as tomatoes and onions.
“We develop retailer incentive programs to encourage that support and to thank those retailers who are strong supporters of California avocados,” Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission vice president of marketing, said in a news release.