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    Publix to Feature Florida-Grown Products Via Demos, Cooking Schools

    Fresh Florida produce items will take center stage in Publix Super Markets in early spring 2010 when they will be featured during in-store “Simple Meals” cooking demonstrations throughout the Southeast, as well as in Publix Cooking Schools in five cities. A variety of Florida produce items will be featured at various times from Feb. 1 to May 21, 2010.

    Fresh Florida produce items will take center stage in Publix Super Markets in early spring 2010 when they will be featured during in-store “Simple Meals” cooking demonstrations throughout the Southeast, as well as in Publix Cooking Schools in five cities. A variety of Florida produce items will be featured at various times from Feb. 1 to May 21, 2010.

    Each Florida product will be part of the Simple Meals cooking demos for three to four days in all Publix stores. During these demos, recipe brochures will be displayed at a Simple Meals kiosk and in the produce department with the featured Florida products.

    Additionally, Florida culinary ambassador Justin Timineri will host the five Publix Cooking Schools, which will teach participants handling and preparation techniques for the featured items.

    Teaming with Publix to promote Florida-grown products “is an exceptional opportunity to highlight Florida’s early-spring harvest of fresh produce,” said Florida agriculture commissioner Charles H. Bronson.

    Publix and the Florida ag department have a history of jointly promoting Florida-grown agricultural products. Previous collaborations have included in-store product demonstrations and advertising displays, distribution of product and recipe brochures, and retail incentive programs. The Florida spring produce promotion is part of the department’s ongoing “Fresh from Florida” marketing program, which helps promote Florida-grown products to consumers.

    Simple Meals and the Publix Cooking Schools are components of Publix’s “Aprons” program, which helps introduce consumers to products and teaches them easy ways to prepare wholesome and delicious meals.

    Cooking and taste-test demos are conducted at the Simple Meals station in every Publix Super Market. Recipe cards for the featured meal are displayed in each store, along with all the ingredients. The Simple Meals associate prepares the recipe, gives out samples to shoppers and answers questions.

    The Publix Cooking Schools -- located in Jacksonville, Tampa, Sarasota, Boca Raton and Atlanta -- are designed to help beginners and experienced cooks alike expand their kitchen repertoire. Shoppers can register to attend the Publix Cooking Schools, which often feature noted chefs, authors and culinary celebrities.

    With 730 supermarkets in Florida and almost 300 others in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is the largest supermarket chain in Florida and one of the 10 largest-volume chains in the United States.

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