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    Fresh & Easy Reintroduces Design-A-Bag Contest

    Grocer also rolled out reusable bag giveaway through Earth Day

    Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has relaunched its Design-A-Bag contest, in which customers can design and then vote on the next reusable bag to be offered by the grocer. Entrants can submit original bag designs at www.freshandeasy.com/designabag through May 15. Based on customer response, El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh & Easy has expanded the contest this year to anyone 13 years of age and up in Arizona, California and Nevada.

    Last year’s contest resulted in more than 1,300 design submissions from customers and 24,000 votes by “friends of fresh&easy,” otherwise known as people who have signed up to get the latest news on the company as well as exclusive offers at www.freshandeasy.com/friends. Sold in Fresh & Easy stores earlier this year, a bag bearing 2010’s limited-edition winning design proved popular with shoppers.

    “Our first Design-A-Bag contest was a huge hit, and customers loved the great design that won, so we’re excited to bring back the contest this year,” noted Fresh & Easy director of neighborhood affairs. Roberto Munoz. “We believe that offering affordable -- and hip -- reusable bag options will continue to encourage customers to use them even more.”

    A panel of judges will review the submissions and select up to 10 finalists based on originality and creativity. The winning design will be picked by friends of fresh&easy from June 21 through July 10. Finalists will each receive a $100 Fresh & Easy gift card, and the winning designer will receive a year's worth of free groceries valued at $5,000.

    The contest is part of Fresh & Easy’s wider effort to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags. Additionally, to mark Earth day, the grocer has kicked off a reusable bag giveaway during which customers can receive a free canvas bag through April 22 when they spend $20 or more. The special Earth Day coupon for the free reusable bag – which would normally cost 99 cents -- is available at Fresh & Easy’s Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/freshandeasy.

    Additional sustainability efforts at Fresh & Easy include using LED lighting in external signs and freezer cases, offering customer recycling in every store, employing advanced refrigeration and freezer units to reduce energy expenditure, and the recycling or reuse of all display packaging. On average, Fresh & Easy stores use 30 percent less energy than a typical supermarket, according to the company.

    Further, Fresh & Easy is a pilot member of the LEED Volume Certification Program, has the most currently certified GreenChill stores in the United States, has voluntarily joined the California Climate Action Registry and The Climate Registry to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions, and invested $13 million in a 500,000-square-foot solar roof installation -- one of the largest in California – at its distribution center.

    A division of U.K. grocer Tesco, Fresh & Easy operates more than 170 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.

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