MINYARD BOOSTS SALES USING CASH GIVEAWAY

COPPELL, Texas -- Frito-Lay, Plano, Texas, and Dr Pepper, Dallas, were showcased in a $50,000 cash sweepstakes by Minyard Food Stores here, which has been aggressively using giveaways to boost traffic.For the $50,000 Cold Cash Giveaway, which ran July 9 through Saturday, Aug. 5, the Dallas/Fort Worth-area chain set up lobby and endcap displays of Dr Pepper and Frito-Lay products in its 81 Minyard,

COPPELL, Texas -- Frito-Lay, Plano, Texas, and Dr Pepper, Dallas, were showcased in a $50,000 cash sweepstakes by Minyard Food Stores here, which has been aggressively using giveaways to boost traffic.

For the $50,000 Cold Cash Giveaway, which ran July 9 through Saturday, Aug. 5, the Dallas/Fort Worth-area chain set up lobby and endcap displays of Dr Pepper and Frito-Lay products in its 81 Minyard, Sack'N Save and Carnival supermarkets. In-store signs and newspaper, radio and TV ads pointed customers to the displays, where they registered for Saturday's drawing by filling out entry blanks. No purchase was necessary.

Minyard created and implemented the promotion. Dr Pepper and Frito-Lay provided marketing funds and materials. "The sweepstakes are sort of our promotional marketing tool of late. We do them about every five or six weeks," said Debbie Ellis, Minyard's public relations coordinator.

"We design our own sweepstakes; we do all the in-house work. To support it, we go out and seek vendor partners to help us with it. They are very excited about being part of it because they get extra displays out of it, and we give them special ads for it. We're pumping product through the door."

Frito-Lay saw a sales boost, spokeswoman Lynn Markley said. "The promotion had done really well. Our sales have increased by double digits in the Minyard stores."

For the Dr Pepper/Frito-Lay display, the soda was stacked with freestanding racks of chips in the

lobbies of Minyard's large stores and in big endcap displays in smaller stores, Ellis said. Minyard created point-of-purchase materials and encouraged store staff to help design them.

"For each sweepstakes, we create a whole advertising signage campaign," she said. "We run a 'Create A Display' contest for the [store] managers where they, in turn, can win prizes. So that gives them extra incentive to pay attention to the displays."

Minyard supported the giveaway with heavy advertising. Sales on Dr Pepper and Frito-Lay products as well as the sweepstakes itself were promoted in radio and TV spots and in newspaper ads twice a week, Ellis said. Full-page ads kicked off the campaign. Instant prize giveaways also were held at the Dr Pepper/Frito-Lay display.

Consumer response was strong. "The registration was extremely heavy, so we know it's working," Ellis said.

"We've found [sweepstakes] a very good marketing tool," she explained. "We've been doing this proactively for the past two and a half years, and we find that it works. It's sort of a niche that we have in the Dallas/Fort Worth market."

Giveaway campaigns usually involve highly promotional items, Ellis noted. "Drink and snack companies are a natural," she said. Previous sweepstakes were done with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nabisco, Borden and Oscar Meyer, she said, adding that another giveaway with Coca-Cola was scheduled to begin yesterday.