A new in-store program from Giant Food Stores turns the spotlight on local products.
The Carlisle, Pa.-based supermarket chain has launched PA Preferred shelf tags at its 156 stores in Pennsylvania to make it easier for customers shopping the aisles to find products grown or produced in the state.
More than 900 items — including meat, poultry, dairy, snacks, condiments, sauces, craft beer and wine, and pet food — are now identified by shelf tags bearing the PA Preferred logo. The tags will be displayed in stores year-round.
Giant noted that the program marks a first for Pennsylvania retailers. Matt Simon, vice president and chief marketing officer at Giant, unveiled the tags with Russell Redding, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in a media event yesterday at the Giant store in Camp Hill, Pa.
PA Preferred is the official brand of food and agricultural products grown, produced or processed in Pennsylvania. Giant said it has supported the program, designed to help the state’s farmers and food suppliers grow their businesses, since its launch in 2004.
“Giant is grateful for its deep connection to Pennsylvania’s farmers, growers and suppliers, and for more than 95 years, we have been committed to sourcing locally grown and produced products,” Simon said at the event. “Our new PA Preferred shelf tags educate our customers and simplify their shopping experience, all while highlighting our unyielding passion for an industry that is, quite literally, the backbone of our business. We couldn’t be more excited to showcase these fantastic products in such a unique way.”
Overall, production agriculture and agribusiness contribute $135.7 billion each year to Pennsylvania’s economy, Giant reported. The state has 59,000 farm families overseeing more than 7.7 million acres of farmland. Production agriculture generates $7.5 billion in cash receipts annually in Pennsylvania and raises revenue and supplies jobs via support services such as food processing, marketing, transportation and farm equipment.
“While Giant has served as a community cornerstone for decades, they’ve done a remarkable job of keeping their finger on the pulse of consumer trends, as evidenced by this new program,” Redding said. “It’s a win-win for consumers and the agriculture industry alike and will help shoppers better connect their food to the farm, helping to strengthen the relationship Pennsylvanians have with local producers.”
In addition to the tag program, Giant plans a multimedia marketing campaign to promote the local produce season and local farmers in its stores chainwide. The campaign includes store signage and displays, social and digital media, television and radio advertising, billboards and the company’s in-store Savory magazine. Also, the effort will highlight the stories behind the farms and people who help bring products to the 180 Giant and Martin’s Food Market stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
“Beyond resonating with our customers, who are looking for fresh, local produce to round out their summer meals, our local marketing campaign recognizes the supplier partners who help bring ‘local’ to life at Giant while serving as a tangible symbol of our company’s commitment to the agriculture industry,” Simon added.
Along with PA Preferred, Giant supports programs promoting local farmers and manufacturers in each of the states where it operates, including Maryland’s Best and Virginia’s Finest.