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Supermarkets tout local athletes at Sochi

Sandwiched in between the obvious marketing opportunities of the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, the launch of this year’s Winter Olympics presents a challenge for food retailers.

A quick scan of the social media posts of several supermarket chains reveals that many are, indeed, getting into the spirit of the games, however. Unlike most Super Bowl promotions, which revolved around recipe ideas and party foods, and Valentine’s Day marketing, which mostly involves candy and flowers, the Winter Olympics-themed posts seek to tap into competition, patriotism and, in several cases, support for local athletes.


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Bethpage, N.Y.-based King Kullen, for example, encouraged its Facebook followers to root for double-luge racer Matthew Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y. As an added tie-in for the chain, Mortensen’s brother, Andrew, works at a King Kullen store in Halesite, N.Y.

Likewise, Norwalk, Conn.-based Stew Leonard’s is supporting Tucker West — also a luge racer — who hails from nearby Ridgefield, Conn. The retailer wished “lots of luck” to West and posted a link to an article about him.

Other chains are simply playing off the Olympics theme with “go for the gold” and similar verbiage promoting their products or other messages. Fry’s Food Stores, for example, a division of Kroger Co., used social media to promote heart-healthy snacking during the games with a post depicting artfully displayed fruit slices that are “sure to take the gold.”

Several chains, including WinCo and Meijer Inc., also used social media to tout Olympic-themed tie-ins with suppliers.


Post by WinCo.
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