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Jewel-Osco’s Michael Vesely Named 2017 Mango Retailer of the Year

Jewel-Osco produce team L-R: Paul Calas, produce procurement manager; Michael Vesely, senior produce buyer; Scott Bennett, produce sales manager; and Eric Haacker, assistant sales manager

The National Mango Board (NMB) has named Jewel-Osco Senior Produce Buyer Michael Vesely its 2017 Mango Retailer of the Year. The award was presented during the NMB’s Annual Mango Industry Reception on Oct. 20 during PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, in Orlando, Fla.

The Mango Retailer of the Year award recognizes retailers that go above and beyond in their support of the mango industry, and deliver outstanding mango promotion results. A Chicago-area banner of the Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos., Jewel-Osco was selected from more than 100 retailers that team with the NMB across the United States. Routinely overperforming in all mango sales and volume, the Midwest retailer is a leader both regionally and nationally in mango volume sold per week.

Jewel-Osco also implements mango promotions year-round, creating unique and timely seasonal opportunities for the fruit. The grocer often incorporates several mango varieties in promotions, fresh-cut and case sales. It uses and reinforce the mango message via print and online magazines, newsletters and posts, reaching millions of potential mango customers in its market. The company consistently provides multitiered communication access its their teams, including produce, registered dietitians and marketing, encouraging open dialog with the mango industry.

Vesely spurred total department sales by promoting mangos while not deflating other department categories. He also attracted new customers to Jewel-Osco through ongoing mango promotions.

“Being selected as the Mango Retailer of the Year has been a tremendous honor; second only to seeing year-over-year sales increases,” noted Vesely. “The NMB provided us with many tools to help create retail excitement. The displays our teams have built using the NMB’s point-of-sale materials have been amazing. Working with the NMB’s retail account managers, Katie Manetti, Tim Beerup and Wendy McManus, [has] really energized the team and shown them what mangos can do for the produce department. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with not only the NMB, but also with our valued vendor community.”

“Having a Midwest retailer as the recipient of this prestigious award is a testament to mango growth in the U.S.,” noted Valda Coryat, director of marketing at the Orlando-based NMB. “This sends us a clear message – there is a mango for all seasons, and they are gaining momentum in this underindexed consumption area of the country. We look forward to our continued work with Michael and the Jewel-Osco team, as well as all our retail partners in helping them achieve mango success.”

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