ATLANTA -- Though frozens usually gets more ballyhoo in March, the Frozen Food Council of Georgia and the Atlanta Journal & Constitution here teamed on a 16-page color ad supplement to trumpet "Frozen Food Month" in October.
Distributed with the newspaper, the tabloid supplement pitched frozen food on its cover with a blue graphic of a globe and large blue type that said, "Taste the World's Coolest Cuisine."
Beneath that were photos of dishes made with frozen food and a paragraph that said, "Discover Frozen Food. We're revealing the latest in frozen foods and the choices are endless! Discover the sensation of world-class cuisine during your next trip to the freezer section. It's a cool collection that's sure to please."
Inside was extensive supermarket frozens advertising, including a four-page spread from Winn-Dixie, a two-page spread from Ingles Markets and two full-page spots from Bruno's.
The Winn-Dixie ads featured penguin characters and banners that said, "October is Frozen Food Month!" Bruno's titled one of its ads, "Freezer Pleasers!" The Ingles spread also had animal-character graphics and a header that said, "Cool Falling Prices...Cool Food Specials."
Products appearing in the retailer ads included Luigi's Italian ices, El Charrito Mexican dinners, Bacardi drink mixers, Breyers Viennetta ice cream, Mrs. Paul's fish sticks, Pepperidge Farm garlic bread, Edwards pies, Borden ice cream, Birds Eye vegetables, Healthy Choice entrees and Totino's pizza.
Manufacturer ads also were in the supplement, including a two-page spread with coupons from Rosetto frozen pasta, a back-cover ad for Stouffer's and Lean Cuisine Hearty Portions dinners and entrees, and a manufacturer's coupon for Hormel frozen Quickmeals.
Sara Lee, Pepperidge Farm, Rich Products, Dean Foods Vegetable Co. and the National Fisheries Institute provided frozen-food recipes. U.S. Cold Storage provided articles on frozen-food history, freezing processes and food quality, and tips on buying and storing frozen food.
"More was done this time than in the past on October, but a bigger supplement is done in March [for National Frozen Food Month]," said Jerry Tidwell, the outgoing president of the Frozen Food Council of Georgia.
"It puts more focus on frozen food. And we get good retailer support. They'll put banners and displays out, and sometimes we even get in-store radio," explained Tidwell, vice president of Specialty Food Sales Co., Atlanta.
Thurman Craig, the newly elected president of the council and an account executive at the Journal & Constitution, noted that Winn-Dixie advertised on radio that October was Frozen Food Month. "Winn-Dixie did a lot of promotion," he said.
Ingles, which regularly runs ads devoted to frozens, was active with in-store merchandising and handed out supplements to customers, according to J. Thomas Outlaw Jr., vice president and director of frozen food. "We had endcap merchandising displays and signage on all the [advertised] items," he said.
"We feel [the supplement] helps a lot," Outlaw explained. "We like to keep putting the frozen-food message in front of people to get a better response. We try to get customers to think of frozen food as a department instead of mixing it in with other grocery items. These types of ads help the frozen-food department stand out." Customer response to the supplement has been good, he added.
A charter member of the Georgia Frozen Food Council, The Journal & Constitution works with various food-industry groups, Craig said.
"The Journal & Constitution has a frozen-food section in March and October every year and works with the council in any way it can to promote frozen food," he said. "This [October supplement] looked really good." He added that a frozen novelties ad feature is being considered for July, which is Ice Cream Month.