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The USA Rice Federation has named Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover and Red Front Supermarkets its 2009 Retailers of the Year. This honor is bestowed by the Arlington, Va. -based advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry to the chain and independent retailer that display, merchandise and promote U.S.-grown rice in creative and profitable ways during September National Rice Month (NRM) as well as year-round. USA Rice offers such marketing materials as premium items, point-of-sale materials, recipe brochures and photography to help grocers make the most of their promotions.
Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, both divisions of Quincy, Mass.-based Ahold USA, garnered the Chain Retailer of the Year honor for the customized National Rice Month promotions they ran in their supermarkets. Postcards including a rice recipe and urging consumers to buy U.S.-grown rice went out to 50,000 of their top rice customers. In 477 stores, center-aisle rice displays boasted custom signage and publicized NRM specials advising shoppers to “Make It Easy, Make it Healthy, Make It Rice.”
Weekly ad circulars spotlighted 21 U.S. rice products on temporary pricing specials. “Our customers love rice,” noted grocery buyer Alex Ros. “We wanted to encourage them to support the U.S. rice industry by promoting American-grown products. We were happy with the results.”
The Independent Retailer of the Year, Red Front Supermarkets of Harrisonburg, Va., achieved a 50 percent increase in rice sales by touting 35 rice products throughout its store via NRM shelf tags. Weekly ad circulars featured the USA “Rice to the Rescue” sweepstakes, and the store also got the word out about NRM through social networking sites, U.S. rice ads on its Facebook page and directing customers to www.usarice.com.
“Our store has found National Rice Month to be a good way to draw people’s attention to a very inexpensive, basic food item that can be used in a variety of ways,” said store manager John Garber Jr. Red Front Supermarkets was also the National Rice Month store promotion contest grand-prize winner.
More information about National Rice Month promotions is available www.usarice.com/retail.