LOS ANGELES -- Unified Western Grocers tripled sales of Unilever's Good Humor-Breyers ice cream to its member retailers this summer through a unique promotion that did not shy away from promoting a premium product to Hispanics.
The promotion, "Los Ciento-Un Dias del Palatero" ("One Hundred-One Days of the Ice Cream Man"), targeted Hispanic shoppers in the metro region here with a multilevel marketing effort that had a specially designed ice cream truck making stops at 300 Southern California independent grocery stores from Memorial Day to Labor Day -- 101 days.
"Everybody got involved," said Jeff Quintana, executive director, manufacturing division, UWG.
"We took a grassroots approach. We wanted to get the consumers to buy Breyers, which did not have a strong presence or awareness among Hispanics. We tied that in with the No. 1 Hispanic radio station. The advertising group created some great jingles to get them to purchase. The sampling van was staffed with very high-energy bilingual people," he told SN. Stores were reset to give space to new novelty products, and 100 off-the-shelf freezer cases were used for display. "Most important, the repeat purchases have been happening," said Quintana. "Nobody has done this, to the best of our knowledge," he added.
The ice cream truck made three appearances at retailers each day, handing out free ice cream samples, coupons, stickers and other promotional materials. Announcements about the truck's visit were also made on the stores' public address system. Good Humor, Breyers, Popsicle and Klondike brand products were promoted.
The program had marketing support on KSCA-FM radio, the No. 1-rated radio station here. "This promotion works because it represents the very essence of Hispanic marketing -- it's grassroots based," said Chris del Rey, president, Del Rey Marketing, the firm that coordinated the marketing and media aspects of the promotion. "Without the truck and the sampling activity, most Hispanics probably wouldn't pay much attention. You've got to get out there," he said.