Fresh Express is backing three salad mixes with a contest on Pinterest and a Facebook campaign from October through December.
The blends — Red Leaf, Spinach & Arugula and Sweet & Crunchy — started shipping for retail July 25 in the U.S. and Canada.
Red Leaf combines the namesake lettuce variety with green leaves.
“Research told us that consumers have been buying red leaf lettuce in whole heads, cutting and mixing them for a more vibrant, colorful salad with the addition of the cherry red coloring,” said Tiffany Breaux, spokeswoman for Fresh Express, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, Charlotte, N.C.
“Combined they provide a nice mix of flavors.”
Sweet butter blend sales are up 13% this year for Fresh Express, Breaux said. Those numbers helped prompt the introduction of Sweet & Crunchy. It’s a mix of Salanova green butter and red butter lettuces.
With spinach and arugula, Fresh Express hoped to capitalize on its findings that consumers favor arugula mixed with milder leafy greens such as spinach.
Marketing support includes a “Show Us How You Blend” sweepstakes featuring a different blend for each remaining month of the year, starting with Spinach & Arugula in October.
“Users pin ingredients, get a coupon, try the blends, and then hopefully repeat it,” Breaux said.
The contest can be entered through a Fresh Express Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/9s3gv9l. Entrants create Pinterest boards featuring the month’s blend plus at least five ingredients in photos of a salad recipe.
Each qualifying entry gets a $1 Fresh Express coupon. There’s one grand prize — free salad for a year, one bag weekly.
The winner’s recipe will be featured on the company’s Facebook page.