SAFEWAY BRINGS ICE CREAM TO MAGAZINE'S 100TH BIRTHDAY PARTY

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- To help celebrate the Sunset centennial year, Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., distributed private-label ice cream, candy and soda at the magazine's two-day birthday party, held here.Also in honor of its 100th birthday, Sunset built a "dream house" a few miles from its headquarters here, where project ideas from the magazine are exhibited. Open to the public until mid-August, the

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- To help celebrate the Sunset centennial year, Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., distributed private-label ice cream, candy and soda at the magazine's two-day birthday party, held here.

Also in honor of its 100th birthday, Sunset built a "dream house" a few miles from its headquarters here, where project ideas from the magazine are exhibited. Open to the public until mid-August, the house is expected to draw about 35,000 visitors, according to Beth Faso, promotions manager for sales development.

Safeway, as Sunset's sole retailer sponsor, has contributed items to the "goodie bag" consumers receive during the house tour. Some of the items included are Safeway's private-label detergent and an application for the retailer's club card.

Sunset, which bills itself as a magazine about Western living, covers cooking and entertaining, traveling, gardening and home improvement.

Sunset received over 22,000 visitors at the Centennial Celebration held here at the end of April. Stage presentations by editorial staff and project tents in which consumers decorated cookies or made flower pots or gift cards were all part of the festivities.

Safeway baked a five-tier birthday cake for the occasion and staffed its own 400-square-foot tent, from which it distributed products like Select sodas, candies and breads.

The retailer also brought in an ice cream truck to serve varieties of Select sorbet and ice cream.

"They were our exclusive grocery-store sponsor," Faso explained. "Top management [at Safeway] were impressed with the event as well as the quality of readers and attendees."

Safeway has been involved with Sunset Publishing since last fall, when it participated in Taste of Sunset festivals in California cities. Currently, the publisher is working on an in-store display with the retailer that will involve a customized Sunset area, but Faso said the program has not been confirmed.

Safeway recently turned over management of its in-store publication to Sunset.

Safeway Select, which debuted at the beginning of this year. It will appear eight times in 1998.

The custom publication, available in all Safeway stores in the United States and Canada, is sold for $2.49 and is usually merchandised at the checkout, said Tamony, but it can also be placed at the end of an aisle or in the produce section.

The magazine is also available in Vons stores, where it is called Vons Select, Tamony noted.

"It is meant to support Safeway's private-label brand and build the Select identity for their customers," she said.

Both the June and April/May issues had more than $7 worth of private-labelcoupons. Safeway officials declined to comment on the chain's strategic programs with Sunset Publishing.