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The nation's apple harvest is in full swing, and that means that National Apple Month has kicked off its fall display contest.

The retail display contest brings the apple industry's fall generic apple promotions front and center for all consumers to enjoy. For many consumers, the apple displays will be the next best thing to being in the orchard and selecting the fruit from the tree.

This year's apple crop is bountiful and provides excellent quality for sales. The high-quality apples, combined with the creativity of produce managers, can make the difference in the level of sales lifts seen at any store. With returning partners Marzetti's caramel apple dips, Smucker's natural peanut butter and Jif's natural peanut butter, impulse sales should provide an extra lift during the promotional period that ends Nov. 30.

Retailers have until Jan. 1, 2010, to submit their entries for judging. Entrants will compete for more than $10,000 in prizes.

More important, historical data reveal that displays boost sales and increase bottom-line profits, according to Kay Swartz Rentzel, director of the NAM program.

For additional information on the display contest, contact National Apple Month at 717/432-0090 or send an e-mail to ksrentzel@aol.com. Those interested may also click on the contest link on the home page of The Produce News at www.theproducenews.com.