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VIENNA, VA — The National Apple Month program announced Feb. 14 the winners of its fall 2010 retail and military display contest.

The annual contest provided retailers and the apple industry with an opportunity to showcase apples and apple products along with partner products "Marzetti" Caramel Apple Dips, "Smucker's" Natural Peanut Butter and "JIF" Natural Peanut Butter. These well-established brands are perfect partners for the promotion since their products complement apples perfectly.

Vying for more than $4,000 in prizes in the display contest were retailers from across the country. From September through November, entrants built displays in their stores that prompted consumers to buy more apples, apple products, "Marzetti" Caramel Apple Dip, "Smucker's" Natural Peanut Butter and "JIF" Natural Peanut Butter. These displays helped boost sales and increase bottom-line profits.

Timothy Hassler of Ferguson & Hassler Inc. in Quarryville, PA, submitted the winning entry for stores with 10 or more registers. The entry featured 12 different varieties and point-of-sale materials touting the health benefits of apples. To increase consumer awareness of National Apple Month, Mr. Hassler included a "Vote for your Favorite Apple Contest" which encouraged consumers to purchase and try many of the different varieties.

Capturing the first-place finish in the division of stores with nine and fewer registers for the second year in a row was G.F.F. Foods in Moore, OK, submitted by David Dozier. G.F.F. Foods saw apples sales lift over the previous year due in part to the 20 different varieties he offered as well as the unique displays he built around a fire department theme with the slogan, "Sound the alarm! Apples are hot stuff!"

For the military display contest, Anthony Chaki of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska won for the western region. He submitted an entry centered on an "As American as Apple Pie" theme, while Larry Bentley of Jacksonville NAS in Florida won for the eastern region. His entry brought apples to the center of the produce section.

The top five-place winners in each division of the 2010 NAM retail display contest are as follows:

In small stores G.F.F. Foods in Moore, OK, in first place; Ridgway BiLo in Ridgway, PA, in second place; Windsor Big-M in Windsor, NY, in third place; Boonville Big-M No. 820 in Boonville, NY, in fourth place; and Mikes BiLo in Reynoldsville, PA, in fifth place.

In large stores Ferguson & Hassler Inc in Quarryville, PA, in first place; Marshalltown Hy-Vee in Marshalltown, IA, in second place; Windsor Heights Hy-Vee in Windsor Heights, IA, in third place; Hy-Vee in Urbandale, OK, in fourth place; and Tops No. 565 Waterloo in Seneca Falls, NY, in fifth place.

Judging of the NAM annual display contest took place Feb. 4 at the U.S. Apple Association headquarters in Vienna, VA. This year's panel of judges were Melissa Musiker, director of science policy, nutrition and health at the Grocery Manufacturers Association; Renée A. Bullion, East Coast development director at the Produce for Better Health Foundation; David G. Fikes, director of consumer and community affairs and social responsibility at the Food Marketing Institute; Gordon M. Hochberg, vice president of The Produce News; and Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications at the United Fresh Produce Association.