HOUSTON -- Coca-Cola Foods here, the maker of Minute Maid products, has put a new twist on its frozen lemon juice. The company hopes to generate excitement about its newly repackaged Minute Maid Premium 100% Pure Lemon Juice through a new marketing campaign that includes co-sponsorship of the "1996 Ask Cooking Light Mobile Magazine Tour" of selected supermarkets.
"The Cooking Light tour is a great opportunity for us to introduce the new look of Minute Maid Premium Lemon Juice while promoting a quality product as the pure alternative for customers," said John Clendening, vice president at Minute Maid.
A posh 18-wheel truck -- the tour's main attraction -- houses coupons and 550 different recipes from 10 product sponsors, including Minute Maid Premium 100% Pure Lemon Juice, said Mark Dodge, director of the tour.
"It goes to 11 chains," said Dodge. "It started at Ukrop's in Richmond. It goes to Harris Teeter, Publix, Bruno's, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Byerly's, Rini-Rego, Ralphs, Tops and ShopRite."
"The truck appeared at two [Ukrop's] stores, and it was filled with recipes of the sponsors' products," said Scott Ukrop, vice president of marketing at Ukrop's Super Markets, Richmond, Va. The truck also visited a unit of the Houston-based Randalls Food Markets. Inside Randalls, an ice table with the frozen lemon juice helped shoppers easily find the product. "One of the first things that hit them was the table, so they could pick it up and put it in their basket quickly," said Mark Hollywood, store director.
At Tom Thumb, Dallas, the tour was supported with in-store displays and in the chain's circular, a company official said.
Dodge said retailers were not charged to participate in the tour, but they had to agree to allow the truck to park directly in front of their stores and to display featured products at the stores' front entrances.
Though Minute Maid's Clendening is enthusiastic about the tour, he told SN it is too early to tell if the tour has had any effect on frozen lemon juice sales.