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California Giant hopes to hit a home run with sweepstakes

by Lora Abcarian | April 19, 2009
California Giant Berry Farms has all the bases loaded going into the United Fresh convention. Cindy Jewell, director of marketing, said that conventioneers would have a chance to learn more about the "Sweet Lineup Sweepstakes," launched April 1 and running through May 31.

"The timing [of the convention] is perfect because we're coming into peak berry season," Ms. Jewell told The Produce News.

California Giant, headquartered in Watsonville, CA, is a volume producer of fresh conventional and organic strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Visitors to booth No. 2208 will have an opportunity to speak with Bill Moncovich, a partner and the chief executive officer, and Pat Riordan, a partner and the executive vice president. Also available will be Anthony Gallino, vice president of sales; Joe Barsi, vice president of new business; Jerry Moran, bush berry manager; Karen Tomforde, account executive; and Ms. Jewell.

The company has partnered with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni as part of its ongoing mission to promote healthy lifestyles.

"Eating healthily is one part. The other is fitness," Ms. Jewell said.

The sweepstakes combines both objectives in a single home run program aimed at the younger set and is being promoted on strawberry clamshells. Consumers can also get information directly from California Giant's retail partners or by visiting

"The grand prize is a baseball clinic for 200 kids," Mr. Jewell said, adding that when this contest ends, California Giant will move to its next promotion with the Tennis Channel.

In addition to these promotions, California Giant has partnered with Sesame Street's multi-year initiative, "Healthy Habits for Life," designed to foster positive eating habits among children. The California Giant Cycling Team - with its youth, elite and masters teams - competes at cycling events around the nation.

A training video also available is designed to help produce managers and their personnel create effective displays at retail, and will be shown at the booth. "It's a message you can never deliver enough," Ms. Jewell stated.

California Giant will also talk about the importance of cold-chain management, merchandising techniques and tips for product storage and handling.