ALBERTSON'S SPEED PLAN UNITES MEAL INGREDIENTS

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertson's here has introduced a new program with the time-pressed consumer in mind in which ingredients for a quick meal are promoted and merchandised as a unit.The company's Quick Fixin' Ideas campaign was kicked off last month and promoted through in-store circulars and signs, newspaper ads, in-store fliers and demonstrations.The program draws from all departments -- Center Store,

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertson's here has introduced a new program with the time-pressed consumer in mind in which ingredients for a quick meal are promoted and merchandised as a unit.

The company's Quick Fixin' Ideas campaign was kicked off last month and promoted through in-store circulars and signs, newspaper ads, in-store fliers and demonstrations.

The program draws from all departments -- Center Store, frozens, meat, dairy, floral and produce, in addition to the in-store service deli and bakery. The promotion targets consumers who are short on time, but still want to make a homemade meal. An in-store flier reads, "For the first time, ideas and ingredients brought together in one easy-to-shop location, ready for you to make at home."

Through the program, Albertson's offers easy meal solutions complete with recipes. The Center Store items are merchandised together in one location, usually on a display in front of an aisle near the front end. The chain is also running savings promotions on the ingredients.

In stores visited by SN, Quick Fixin' items in perimeter departments included prepared entrees that consumers needed only to heat. In frozens, Quick Fixin' signs were hung throughout the aisle, particularly in the dinner and entree areas.

In one store visited by SN, a demonstration was taking place featuring Creamy Chicken Broccoli Skillet, a recipe made with rice, cheese, chicken and frozen broccoli. SN observed

several other deomonstrations in visits to other Albertson's locations throughout southern California.

Supplementing the sampling demonstrations, Albertson's promoted the ingredients in its in-store circular. During SN's visit, three of the five ingredients were advertised: Minute Rice at $1.69 for a 14-ounce box, Kraft Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip at $2.69 for a 32-ounce jar, and Kraft Velveeta, a 16-ounce loaf for $2.99. Two in-store fliers containing recipes were also available to customers. One was cosponsored by Kraft Foods, while the other was a collection of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner compiled from various sources.

Kraft, National Broiler Council, National Beef Council, National Live Stock and Meat Board, National Pork Producers, National Dairy Association and National Turkey Federation contributed recipes to the campaign.

In addition to suggesting meals customers could make at home, Albertson's was promoting takeout meals from its service deli, frozen pizza and entrees, dessert items like frozen pies, ice cream bars and fresh-baked items. Officials at Albertson's declined to comment. However, a market observer in southern California said the chain has attempted to make quite a splash with its new promotion.

"They're really trying to do it right. They even tied-in a Chinese New Year promotion to Quick Fixin'. It had items from all over the store. That particular one was big on Yu Sing frozen entrees."