California Lamb Industry Launches Retail Trendsetter Awards Program

FOLSOM, Calif. -- The California Sheep Commission based here is launching a Retailer Trendsetter Award to capitalize on Californians' mounting interest in locally grown food products. The award will recognize California retailers who go the extra mile to carry and merchandise locally produced lamb.

Research shows support for "locally grown" is increasing among Californians. Furthermore, according to a recent study, consumers prefer American Lamb to imported lamb, ranking it superior in terms of quality, taste and healthfulness (Source: Synovate Study 2004). The commission, together with the American Lamb Board and Superior Farms has created the Retailer Trendsetter Award to encourage retailers to carry and promote American lamb.

"From produce to protein, 'locally grown' is catching on with consumers," said Florence Cubiburu, third generation California sheep producer from Stockton. "We hope this trend will help increase retail sales of locally produced lamb. "

The Retailer Trendsetter Award is open to all the state's retailers. Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers are encouraged to submit nominations through the end of October. A committee of representatives of the California lamb industry will review nominations and select award recipients based on a retailer's promotional programs, ad support, innovative in-store merchandising and overall sales of American lamb. Winners will receive a plaque and monetary award to be distributed to individual store(s) within a chain that did the best job supporting locally produced lamb.

To help retailers plan effective domestic lamb programs, the American Lamb Board has created a "The Retailer's Toolkit" that includes consumer research, merchandising tips, nutritional data and many consumer-friendly recipes. To obtain a copy of the Retailer Toolkit and to learn more about the Retailer Trendsetter Award, email: [email protected].
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