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ARLINGTON, Va. -- Bi-Lo 284 of Summerville, S.C. and Seitter's Market of New Haven, Mo. won grand prizes in the annual National Rice Month Store Promotion Contest, sponsored by USA Rice Federation here. The contest recognizes creative promotional activities conducted by chain and independent retailers, and awards cash prizes for creative rice displays.
Bi-Lo 284, the grand prize winner in the chain category, built a NASCAR-themed display out of 5,900 pounds of rice, increasing September's rice sales by 37 percent over August. Bi-Lo, which is headquartered in Mauldin, S.C., participated chain-wide, promoting rice in 230 stores through a two-page ad weekly flyer featuring price specials on 12 different U.S. rice items, according to the USA Rice Foundation.
Seitter's Market of New Haven, Mo., the independent category winner, featured U.S. rice in a new deli recipe feature every day, ran weekly rice ad specials, held a "The Rice is Right" game for customers, and cross-promoted products with rice throughout the store.
Retailers that entered the contest not only increased store traffic and created awareness for rice, but also saw big gains in the rice category, reporting an average rise of 44 percent from August to September, and 48 percent over 2006, the USA Rice Foundation said.
Ten runner-up prize winners were selected.