TREASURE HUNT AT IGA FOR KIDS

CHICAGO--IGA Stores here organized a kids' treasure hunt to encourage children to explore store aisles and become familiar with their hometown IGA."One of the major priorities of IGA is to recognize kids as future consumers and as human beings. Such promotions make grocery shopping fun and exciting," said Gary McDaniel, retail business consultant with Supervalu's Spokane, Idaho, division. McDaniel

CHICAGO--IGA Stores here organized a kids' treasure hunt to encourage children to explore store aisles and become familiar with their hometown IGA.

"One of the major priorities of IGA is to recognize kids as future consumers and as human beings. Such promotions make grocery shopping fun and exciting," said Gary McDaniel, retail business consultant with Supervalu's Spokane, Idaho, division. McDaniel is also the IGA coordinator at the Spokane division.

The in-store program, launched to 2,000 independents in the U.S. and Caribbean, marked the first time IGA has offered such a promotion. Youngsters completed a series of questions found at the front-end after traveling around the store looking for answers. A national drawing was held and 3,400 prizes were awarded -- from Crayola Chalk Buckets and Mattel toys to Huffy bicycles and KTM Sport Mini Cycles.

Treasure hunt questions were tied to the manufacturers sponsoring the event--which included Best Foods, Coca-Cola, Nabisco Biscuit, Nabisco Foods, Kraft, Kellogg's, Minute Maid and the IGA private label--and, for example, a question might have asked how many peanuts are pictured on a jar of Skippy peanut butter. Color blocks contained each question on the entry form and corresponded to colors found on shelf tags and other store signage where contestants could find responses.

"It was a fun, easy visual for children to follow," said David Pruitt, director of promotions at IGA, Chicago. "It's a stepping stone because we heard loud and clear from retailers that we needed a long-term strategy for kids.

"We put the program together in 90 days, which was a very quick turnaround, especially for the independents. The response was tremendous," Pruitt said.

IGA headquarters sent stores point-of-purchase materials in colorful combinations designed to capture the attention of kids aged six to 14.

Individual stores developed additional advertising on their own, and most ran ads in their circulars and in newspapers. One store used a local children's church choir to record a radio jingle about the promotion.

The event culminated in a weekend parking lot event during which face painters, balloon artists, carnival-type amusements, and local police and fire departments were available.

IGA plans to run another child-specific promotion next year, according to Pruitt.