Retailers who participated received cash prizes of up to $500.
“We told everyone who sent in an entry that they would get a check,” he said.
Most of the checks were for $5, to go with a handful of $50 checks and a very few $500 ones. But the buzz about winning $500 sent participation through the roof. Between 8,000 and 15,000 retailers participated in each of the four years the promotion ran, and the results were impressive.
“The sales increases were astonishing, and growers had despaired of that ever happening,” he said.
After McClure died in 1996, Tjerandsen kept the company name, in part in tribute to his partner and mentor, in part because the name McClure was much easier to remember than Tjerandsen.
In 2004, Tjerandsen was named interim director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. Before long, he assumed the permanent title of North American marketing manager.
Looking back, Tjerandsen said he’s fortunate to have chosen an industry full of challenges and interest, and one that’s “a collecting place for a lot of very nice people.”
He said he’s grateful to have worked with and learned from people like Gene Stokes, Paul Yoder, Mark Bagley, Jim Halloran, Ken Snyder, David Simonian and Ronald Bown.
Looking ahead, Tjerandsen is excited about continuing to work on behalf of Chile’s growers, and about his work for the Produce for Better Health Foundation, the International Federation for Produce Standards and other organizations.
“There are a lot of very bright people developing new ways of moving perishable products in ways that ensure freshness, quality and safety,” Tjerandsen said. “It’s very entertaining and gratifying.”