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'Foxy' lettuce teams with Sony on movie promotion

by Tim Linden | November 05, 2010

Over the next two months, more than 10 million heads of "Foxy" brand lettuce will give consumers the opportunity to receive a rebate on the purchase of the DVD of the popular “Eat Pray Love” movie.

Consumers who purchase two heads of lettuce and the DVD will be able to log in to a web site and request the rebate from Sony Pictures Entertainment, 'Foxy's’ partner on the crossover promotion and the distributor of the new DVD.

“We felt this was a tremendous opportunity to tie-in the ‘Foxy’ brand to our core customer with one of the most talked-about movies of the year,” said Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing for The Nunes Co., which owns the “Foxy” brand.

The promotion was slated to begin Monday, Nov. 8, and continue through the holiday season. Mr. Seeley said that more than 10 million heads of wrapped “Foxy” brand Iceberg lettuce distributed nationwide will offer the rebate on the purchase of a DVD or Blu-ray disc of the movie.

“Eat Pray Love” is the tale of a woman’s journey through India, Italy and Bali as she reconnects with her inner self. The movie, which was in theaters during the summer and was adapted from a best-selling book of the same name, is a memoir of author Elizabeth Gilbert. It stars popular actor Julia Roberts as the main character, whose fascination with different foods is one of the main premises of the movie. The DVD is scheduled to be released Nov. 15.

The movie is in the “chick flick” genre and, as such, would seem to appeal to the main purchasers of fresh produce. Mr. Seeley said that about 80 percent of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets is purchased by women. “On a regular basis, we get offers to cross promote with other food companies,” he said. “Often it is in the salad-related category such as with crouton or salad dressing makers. But occasionally, the [cross promotion] offer comes from the entertainment world, as we have been promoting our products and our brand to consumers for 20 years and a lot of people know that.”

Mr. Seeley said that The Nunes Co. turns down these offers more often than it accepts them, but if a promotion makes sense, it can be a win-win situation. “This one makes great sense because it has to do with food, and it targets our core customer.”

He added that for Sony, the promotion offers the opportunity to promote its non-produce item in the produce department, where there is high velocity, quick turnover and great excitement. “It’s no secret that those [product manufacturers] not in our department are continually seeking ways to sell their products in the produce section. The produce section has become a destination for most supermarket shoppers.”

While Mr. Seeley thinks supermarket produce executives need to make sure they do not turn their departments into a circus by accepting every cross- promotion idea, he said that there is a way to do them successfully and unobtrusively. “There is tons of money out there and opportunities to promote our products if we do it right,” he said.

For this particular promotion, a consumer who purchases the two heads of “Foxy” lettuce and the “Eat Pray Love” DVD will be able to request a $5 rebate from Sony via the Internet. All the details are printed on the offer sheet included with the “Foxy” lettuce. Mr. Seeley said that The Nunes Co.’s role in the promotion is simply to serve as the delivery vehicle for the offer in a manner that should increase sales of its product.

“We are selling a staple commodity item,” he said. “Anytime we can differentiate our product from the competition, we take a serious look at it. This promotion gives us the opportunity to add value to our product” with no out-of-pocket expenses.

He said that the company does increase its own visibility with these promotions, which is why it has another cross promotion scheduled for December-January and a very large promotion in the works for the summer. Mr. Seeley was not ready to talk about the summer promotion, but he said that the December-January opportunity involves offering a free sample of a complementary product along with “Foxy” branded produce. He said more details will be released shortly.