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CINCINNATI - The Southwest division of The Kroger Co., based here, won the grand prize in the California Avocado Commission's 2006 "Runaway Hit of the Summer!" ad contest.
Running from May 31 through September 27, 2006, the contest coincided with a record crop of California avocados. CAC used the contest to encourage retailers to promote the fruit throughout the season.
CAC selected Kroger Southwest's winning entry out of 573 entries received from 73 retailers during the 18-week promotion period. Kroger Southwest won the grand prize of a Panasonic 37" Plasma HDTV.
The commission awarded retailers prizes based upon the number of qualifying ads submitted.
"This year's advertising contest had a 300 percent increase in entries over the 2005 ad contest," said Jan DeLyser, CAC's v.p./marketing. "We are very pleased with the phenomenal retail support we received to help move our record crop this season."
Last season, California's avocado shipments shattered all previous records, and more than doubled the previous year. Avocados experienced the highest percent of growth in volume sales of all top 10 fruits, as well as the highest percentage of growth in dollar sales of all top 10 fruits.
In total retail dollars of all fruit, avocados now rank seventh among retailers who report their data, according to IRI/Fresh Look Marketing data.
"We consistently hear from key accounts that their avocado sales rank in the top five in produce sales," said DeLyser. "There is tremendous potential for continued growth in core markets as well as new demand markets."
Created in 1978 to develop markets for and increase consumption of California avocados on behalf of the state's 6,800 avocado growers, CAC is the official source for information about California avocados and the industry.