National Apple Month Crowns Best Retail Displays

VIENNA, Va. The National Apple Month program here announced the winners of its fall 2009 retail display contest, choosing five small-store winners and five large-store winners. The contest continues to deliver a promotional marketing event to kick-start the domestic apple industry's marketing season and allows retailers to use domestic apples from across the country to provide consumers quality apples,

VIENNA, Va. — The National Apple Month program here announced the winners of its fall 2009 retail display contest, choosing five small-store winners and five large-store winners.

“The contest continues to deliver a promotional marketing event to kick-start the domestic apple industry's marketing season and allows retailers to use domestic apples from across the country to provide consumers quality apples,” Kay Swartz Rentzel, director of National Apple Month, said in a release.

“When combined with the creativity of produce managers in building the displays, it's a success for everyone. The national partners, Marzetti, Smucker's and JIF, provided produce managers with an opportunity to cross-merchandise with another section of the store and create greater impulse sales from their customers.”

Rentzel added that these established brands were perfect partners for the promotion since their products complement apples.

From September through November, retailer contestants built displays in their stores designed to entice consumers into buying more apples, apple products, Marzetti Caramel Apple Dip, Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter and JIF Natural Peanut Butter. The displays helped boost sales and increase bottom-line profits, according to NAM officials.

Many of the displays also carried messages on eating healthy, locally grown produce, nutrition awareness, fall harvest time ideas, back-to-school snacking suggestions and more.

Brett Reed, produce manager at Hy-Vee, Windsor Heights, Iowa, submitted the winning entry for the large-store division, which included stores with 10 or more registers.

Hy-Vee's “Ultimate Apple Lovers Dream” theme had more than 15 varieties of regular and organic apples on display. The store sold nearly 200 cases of apples in less than two weeks, according to officials. Merchandising also focused on extra impulse sales of the apple dip and natural peanut butters. The store experienced double-digit sales increases with nearly every product featured in the display, officials noted.

GFF Foods, Moore, Okla., captured first place in the small-store division, which consists of stores with nine or fewer registers. David Dozier, the store's event coordinator, used a “Great American” theme for the award-winning display.

GFF Foods saw apple sales lift over the previous year, due in part to the 15 varieties and more than 400 boxes of apples sold during the promotion.

Entries were evaluated on the volume and variety of fresh apples displayed, the volume and variety of processed apple products, grocery tie-in products displayed, the use and volume of Marzetti Caramel Apple Dips, the use and volume of Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter, display creativity and cross-merchandising with other store departments.

Other winners in the small-store division included: Foodland, Lebanon, Pa.; Hy-Vee, Waterloo, Iowa; Ryan's Big M, Brockport, N.Y.; and Sureway 88, Henderson, Ky.

Large-store runners-up included Hy-Vee, Windsor Heights, Iowa; Tops Markets No. 114, Depew, N.Y.; Hy-Vee, Marshalltown, Iowa; Shady Maple Farm Market, East Earl, Pa.; Publix Super Markets, Wesley Chapel, Fla.