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MINNEAPOLIS -- General Mills here is trying to give in-store bakeries a boost, through a special promotional program that provides Box Tops stickers for fresh bakery products, along with point-of-sale promotional materials intended to drive traffic to the department and encourage multiple purchases.
The program, Box Tops for Education, also helps in-store bakeries forge a goodwill connection to their surrounding communities, thanks to the dark pink box top coupons valued at 10 cents each that consumers can clip from more than four billion packages and exchange for cash for schools.
The ongoing program offers peel-off stickers worth "Double Box Tops" -- 20 cents -- on packages of baked goods like cinnamon rolls, muffins, and scones.
Full promotional kits are available to retailers, complete with Box Tops stickers, shelf wobblers, ceiling danglers, table toppers, counter cards and tear pads featuring Bakery Bonus Cards, which allow consumers to earn even more money for their schools. Consumers who collect and redeem five double Box Tops on the Bakery Bonus Card will double their Box Tops again, earning $2.00.
"General Mills products are found in virtually every aisle of the grocery store," said Jill Brant, marketing manager, supermarket bakeries, General Mills bakeries & foodservice. "Through our intimate knowledge and expertise of the center store, General Mills brings sales and marketing innovation to the supermarket bakery. The Box Tops for Education promotion helps supermarkets not only build their bakery business, but also show support for their local communities."
Research shows that only half of consumer shopping trips include a stop in the bakery. This represents key opportunities to increase penetration and frequency through in-store promotions.
In addition, research indicates that cause-related marketing changes consumer behavior. Eighty-one percent of consumers are more likely to switch brands or retailers to one associated with a good cause. The Box Tops for Education promotion gives consumers a compelling reason to visit the in-store bakery, and increase their number of purchases, said General Mills.
Eighty-nine percent of America's K-8 grade schools are enrolled in the Box Tops program, and two-thirds of households with kids aged 6 to 12 participate, according to General Mills. Since 1996, the company has given more than $150 million to schools, including more than $35 million last year. It has grown to be the company's largest strategic philanthropy effort.