ITASCA, Ill. — Jewel-Osco, a Supervalu  chain here, began running on Thursday a new cookware promotion that puts a twist on one of the original grocery store loyalty programs — trading stamps.
Under the program, which is available at 175 Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago area, customers who shop with their Jewel-Osco Preferred Customer Card between Aug. 26 and Jan. 12, 2011 will receive a reward sticker for every $10 spent on eligible purchases. As the stickers are collected, customers will be able to place them on saver cards, which can then be redeemed at participating stores for eight different pieces of Thomas Professional Cookware at the cost of only a penny each. The stickers can be redeemed through Jan. 26, 2011.
A Jewel-Osco spokeswoman said the promotion also is running at 242 Albertsons stores, also owned by Supervalu.
As part of the promotion, the retailer is partnering with Chef Jason Paskewitz of Gemini Bistro to provide shoppers with cooking tips and recipe ideas for the various cookware pieces.
Jewel-Osco is planning a number of events and activities to engage customers in the new program. In September, the company will launch a “cookware intervention” contest in which customers will have a chance to win one of five free sets of cookware. That same month, the retailer and one of its vendor partners will begin offering a sweepstakes that gives customers the opportunity to win a full set of cookware. In addition, select stores will host cookware demonstrations. Meanwhile, shoppers will find information from company dietitians and moms on Jewel-Osco’s Facebook page.
“In addition to providing savings and discounts on items throughout our stores, we wanted to find another way to thank our loyal customers at a time when many consumers are cooking at home more,” said Jewel-Osco President Keith Nielsen in a press statement.
The new cookware program harkens back to a favorite American pastime of earlier generations. During the 1950s and ’60s, trading stamps were a popular way for grocery stores and other merchants to help drive customer loyalty. Customers would collect stamps from their local supermarkets and paste them in saver books, until they had collected enough stamps to redeem for various gifts.
In fact, in 1953, Supervalu was the first large supermarket chain in the nation to introduce the use of trading stamps from the Gold Bond Trading Stamp Co.
Shoppers can collect their cookware right in the store as soon as they’ve accumulated enough reward stickers. After picking out the piece they want, customers can redeem the cookware as they checkout by presenting their completed saver card, their Jewel-Osco loyalty card and a penny for every piece they choose. They can also purchase the cookware at a discounted price by redeeming half the required stickers and paying a nominal fee, or they can purchase the cookware at the full retail price. There is no limit to the number of pieces a consumer can collect.
Customers can choose from the following eight pieces of Thomas Professional Cookware:
- • 7.8-inch non-stick frypan — 1 cent with 50 reward stickers or $5.49 with 25 stickers.
- • 10.2-inch non-stick frypan — 1 cent with 70 reward stickers or $8.99 with 35 stickers.
- • 7.8-inch casserole with lid — 1 cent with 80 reward stickers or $9.99 with 40 stickers.
- • 9.4-inch sauté pan with lid — 1 cent with 90 reward stickers or $11.99 with 45 stickers.
- • 10.6-inch square grill pan — 1 cent with 90 reward stickers or $11.99 with 45 stickers.
- • 9.4-inch Dutch oven with lid — 1 cent with 100 reward stickers or $12.99 with 50 stickers.
- • 11-inch non-stick stir-fry pan with lid — 1 cent with 100 reward stickers or $12.99 with 50 stickers.
- • 13.7-inch x 10.1-inch roasting pan with rack — 1 cent with 130 reward stickers or $19.99 with 65 reward stickers.
Thomas Professional Cookware is made of hard anodized aluminum. The pieces feature a non-stick coating, making it easier to prepare healthier meals using less fat or oil and making the pieces easier to clean. All items are certified as dishwasher safe. The suggested retail prices of the cookware range in value from $29.99 to $89.99.