The National Watermelon Promotion Board, Winter Springs, Fla., received 170 entries from across the U.S. and Canada for its 11th-annual retail display contest.
That’s an increase of 13% from 2018, according to a news release. The contest asked produce managers to highlight health, value and versatility of watermelons, using point-of-sale materials from the board.
“Several of this year’s entries submitted more than displays,” Juliemar Rosado, director of retail operations and international marketing, said in the release. “The retailers really created an experience for shoppers in store with activities like sampling and watermelon eating contests.”
The grand prize winner in the “classic” category is a Borderland Co-Op location in Saskatchewan, Canada, according to the release. The “star-spangled” category grand prize entry came from Buckland Air Force Base Commissary in Aurora, Colo. The Borderland Co-Op had cooking demos for four recipes, and the Buckland AFB Commissary hosted a watermelon eating contest.
According to the watermelon group, participating retailers saw an average sales jumps 20%-30% over last year’s sales during the promotion. Participants were asked to create displays during July and August.
Some retailers went beyond displays, and created “experiences” highlighting watermelons, Rosado said in the release.
“The creativity in displays put forth by our produce teams has generated excitement and enhanced the customer shopping experience, which increased sales volumes in participating locations,” Nick Penry, produce retail operations manager at Federated Co-operatives Ltd., said in the release. “It has also resulted in several NWPB awards over the last few years. A great promotion.”
Other winners in the classic category are:
- Second: Beale Air Force Base Commisary;
- Third: Piggly Wiggly No. 37; and
- Fourth: Chuck’s Produce Salmon Creek.
Other winners in the star-spangled category are:
- Second: Mad Butcher;
- Third: Fareway Market; and
- Fourth: Dahlgren Commissary.
Grand prize winners receive $1,500 in prices, second-place winners get $800, third-place winners receive $600, fourth-place winners receive $400 each, and eight honorable mentions get $200 each.