BIG Y MAGAZINE CELEBRATES 'FRESH' MONTH

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big Y Foods here is offering a free, in-store magazine to shoppers throughout June to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month.The magazine, "Eating Well, Living Well," provides information and recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, as well as coupons for members of Big Y's Express Savings Club. "We want to help shoppers enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables that

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big Y Foods here is offering a free, in-store magazine to shoppers throughout June to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month.

The magazine, "Eating Well, Living Well," provides information and recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, as well as coupons for members of Big Y's Express Savings Club. "We want to help shoppers enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables that summer offers by providing easy-to-prepare meal and snack ideas," said Donald D'Amour, chief executive officer of Big Y. "At the same time, we are looking to help our customers make healthier food choices."

Claire D'Amour, vice president of corporate affairs for Big Y, said this is the first time the chain has published a magazine focusing on produce. However, Big Y has published an in-house series of magazines for parents, as well as calendars.

"We wanted to do something related to food and nutrition," she said. Shoppers seem to be eating less fattening foods, which is probably a direct result of the Nutrition Labeling and Information Act, Ms. D'Amour said. Focusing on fruits and vegetables was a good way to take advantage of the trend.

Big Y ordered 250,000 copies of the magazine, a collaborative effort of Big Y executives and the chain's advertising agency, to distribute among the chain's 32 units. In most stores, the magazines appear near the cash registers at the front end. Besides recipes, "Eating Well, Living Well" provides tips for beauty remedies made from fruits and vegetables, an introduction to some exotic items such as kumquats and kohlrabi and profiles of several farmers who supply Big Y.

The coupon section, a pull-out insert, offers promotional prices effective June 5 through July 2. One page is devoted to produce, and offers preripened avocados at 88 cents each, radicchio for $2.98 a pound and white potatoes at $1.48 per five-pound bag. Coupons are available for each department, including grocery, health and beauty care, frozen, dairy and deli.

When interviewed by SN, Ms. D'Amour said the magazines had just appeared in stores, and she couldn't say how consumers were reacting. "But all the ones we put in the stores seem to be disappearing," she said. "We'll probably do something similar again at some point," she predicted.