HAB, Melissa's Select Hispanic Heritage Month Retail Winners

CHICAGO - Jewel Store # 3290 here was named the winner of the first co-marketing program between the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) and Melissa's/World Variety Produce. Organizers of the event, which was held in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, left no question that avocados have gone way beyond guacamole.

The month-long contest, which ran from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, included a retail display contest as well as a recipe contest for consumers, who were invited to submit original recipes featuring Hass avocados and a Melissa's chile pepper product.

"Hispanic Heritage Month was a new promotional program for HAB, and Melissa's was the ideal co-marketing partner," said Connie Stukenberg, HAB spokesperson. "Melissa's understanding of the Hispanic consumer and its relationships with retailers who serve this market is unparalleled. We received an added bonus when our major retailers joined the promotion as well."

Impressive retail displays throughout the Midwest and Southeast provided further evidence that consumer demand for Hass avocados extends well beyond the core markets.

"We were thrilled by the displays we saw at retail," said Stukenberg, who noted that retailers "understand that customer loyalty is something they have to earn and promotions such as this help keep them top-of-mind with their customers. By supporting the Hispanic culture, which values quality, fresh products, the retailers underscored their recognition of and commitment to this loyal customer base."

"We saw an excellent opportunity to build upon what we have done previously during our Hispanic Heritage Month promotions with HAB," said Robert Scheuller, Melissa's director of public relations. "Avocados are a staple among the Hispanic community and a great compliment to the many specialty produce items we offer. This year the focus was on chile peppers and there were some extremely creative recipes that truly impressed our executive chefs, who served as the judges."
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