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Domex expects year-round opportunities for Washington apples

The record 2014-15 Washington apple crop is currently forecasted at over 140 million boxes of fruit. This vintage crop is expected to provide good quality, sizing and aggressive promotional opportunities benefiting retailers and consumers alike. Apples BrainPower

"We are looking forward to what 2015 will bring and Superfresh Growers’ sees excellent opportunities to promote Washington apples throughout the spring and summer months," the company said in a press release.

Most of the varieties like Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious will be available through the summer months. With ample supplies of all major varieties from Washington state, retailers will have the ability to offer U.S.-grown apples to their customers for the entire year.

Apples are the perfect fruit to promote year ‘round as they contribute approximately 12 percent of the entire produce department’s dollar sales, according to Nielsen data ending Aug. 24, 2014. The top five apple varieties of Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith represent almost 75 percent of the entire apple category.

“Gala Apples are the No. 1 apple in both dollar and volume sales in the United States” Howard Nager, vice president of marketing for Domex Superfresh Growers, said in the press release. “Nielsen data shows that Galas represent almost 25 percent of apple dollars sales and 27 percent of the apple volume sales.

“Social media has been very successful in helping us educate and inspire consumers on the benefits of increased apple consumption,” Nager added in the release. “We encourage retailers to view and share our consumer oriented content available on our blog at www.SuperfreshGrowers.com.”

The Superfresh blog contains educational content about Washington apple varieties and inspirational promotions focused on the health benefits of increased apple consumption. Some of the most popular Superfresh blog posts include the Washington Apple Variety Guide, Supercharge Your New Year’s Resolutions With 2 Apples Per Day, Easy Apple Chips: Your DIY Guide to Drying Fruit, Everything You Need to Know About Gala Apples and Apples Help Boost Brain Power.

AFM to keep momentum strong following football season

Avocados from Mexico plans to keep avocado consumption strong following the Super Bowl with its new Fanwich campaign. Launching nationwide and running Feb. 2 to March 13, the Fanwich campaign will feature a variety of consumer-focused marketing efforts to encourage consumers to create their own unique and delicious sandwiches featuring avocados from Mexico.afmlo

Consumers can enter their sandwich creation at Fanwich.com for a chance to win one of four $500 grocery gift cards, which will be awarded weekly, or the grand prize of either a kitchen makeover, a “man cave” or a 10-day trip to any destination in the world, a value of $25,000.

“This Fanwich campaign will keep avocado fans pumped up long after the Big Game comes to an end,” Alvaro Luque, president of AFM, said in a press release. “This promotion will give our consumers a reason to eat and feel better with avocados From Mexico while having fun building the ultimate Fanwich.”

Retailers will also get a chance to score big by participating in AFM’s first national display contest. To enter, retailers can submit a picture of their unique displays online at www.Fanwich.com/Retail. The displays must utilize Fanwich point-of-sale items and all entries must be submitted no later than March 20. Prizes range from an iPad to $10,000 cash for retailers to create their own ultimate “man cave.”

Along with a consumer contest and a retail display contest, the campaign will be supported with a digital and social media campaign, as well as in-store radio and merchandising. AFM has also partnered with Jeff Mauro, “Sandwich King” and co-host of “The Kitchen,” to create hype videos leading up to, and during, the contest.

More information about Avocados from Mexico and the Fanwich campaign is available at www.avocadosfrommexico.com.

Modified order allows Bi-Lo to hold on to more Fla. locations

The Federal Trade Commission approved a modified final order settling charges that grocery store operator Bi-Lo Holdings LLC’s $265 million acquisition of 154 stores from Delhaize America would harm competition in markets in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Under the new order, Bi-Lo will retain ownership of three Sweetbay stores in Florida for which it could not find a buyer.

Under the proposed settlement reached in 2014, the FTC required the merged Bi-Lo/Delhaize to sell 12 of the Delhaize stores to buyers identified in the proposed order. One of the buyers, Rowe’s IGA, subsequently withdrew its commitment to purchase four Sweetbay stores located in Arcadia, Dunnellon, Lake Placid and Wauchula, FL, requiring Bi-Lo to continue and expand its efforts to identify an alternative buyer or buyers for those stores. 

Since Bi-Lo was unable to find buyers for three of those stores, the FTC has issued its modified final order that no longer requires Bi-Lo/Delhaize to divest the four Sweetbay stores to Rowe’s IGA. It also requires Bi-Lo/Delhaize to divest the store in Wauchula to Sunripe Market within 30 days of the modified order becoming final.