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Michigan-based Spartan Stores hosted “Piling on the Pasta,” an eating contest in which the grocer’s private label noodles were the main course – and charitable contributions the sweet reward.
Representatives from local schools and media were expected to participate in the contest Wednesday at Spartan’s Family Fare Supermarket in Grandville, Mich., to consume large bowls of Spartan Stores Super Pasta spaghetti noodles and sauce. The top three winners earned prize money to be donated to their favorite charities, with first prize at $1,000, second prize at $500 and third place at $250.
“We are thrilled to host ‘Piling on the Pasta’ right before the holidays as a way to not only introduce the incredible nutritional benefits of this affordable, versatile, whole-grain Super Pasta, but as means to help three local nonprofits by ‘paying the prize money forward,’” said Alan Hartline, Spartan Stores executive VP of merchandising and marketing. “Our contestants are really excited to participate in this spaghetti eating frenzy, and they feel really good that their culinary indulgence will help their neighbors. Plus, the nutritional value of Spartan Brands Super Pasta relieves their conscience. This family favorite earns straight A’s in flavor, form and price, plus it packs a super nutritional punch. All varieties provide a serving of whole grain, and are an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, fiber and protein, plus 260 mg of ALA omega-3 per serving.”
At $2.49 per package, Spartan Super Pasta comes in five varieties: spaghetti, thick spaghetti, penne, fusilli and elbow. In recent years, “healthy” pastas with more whole grains or added nutrients such as calcium are accounting for increased sales as consumers look for more nutritional alternatives.
“Spartan Super Pasta is made with a refined wheat flour called semolina, yet its form and texture is very similar to traditional pastas, noted Allison Reed, Spartan Stores full-time registered dietitian. “Kids love it, and parents appreciate the extra calcium, vitamin D, fiber and omega 3’s. Plus, the whole grains and extra fiber satisfy you longer, and the rise in blood sugar is more gradual and sustained. This is good news for everybody, especially for people with diabetes.”
Spartan Super Pasta is sold at the grocer’s 97 D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare, Glen’s and VG’s locations, and more than 400 independent stores throughout Michigan and Northern Indiana and Ohio.