GREENFIELD, Mass. (April 20, 2001)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will present its 2001 "Big O" Merchandising Competition Awards to three retailers during OTA’s All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show in Austin, TX, in May.
OTA’s 2001 "Big O" Award Grocery Category winner is Community Natural Foods of Calgary, Canada. Thrifty Foods, based in Saanichton, Canada, has been selected the winner of the "Big O" Produce Category. In addition, Bristol Farms of El Segundo, CA, will receive a "Big O" honorary mention for Marketing Excellence. The award presentations will take place at OTA’s annual dinner and awards ceremony Saturday evening, May 19, at the Austin Convention Center.
Community Natural Foods, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will be recognized for its September Sunflower Festival and Tasting Fair at its store at 1304 – 10th Avenue SW in Calgary. Community Natural Foods reported a 35 percent increase in organic sales during the festival. In its "Big O" entry, a Community Natural Foods representative wrote, "We are committed to bringing the harvest from growers and reapers to consumers with the highest quality possible. We provide educational seminars and cooking classes to educate the public on the benefits of whole organic foods and the accompanying lifestyle."
Thrifty Foods, Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada, has been selected as the produce category winner for its Earth Week celebration throughout its stores. Seven different locations of Thrifty stores submitted "Big O" entries. Because of the high calibre of all of the entries, Thrifty Foods as a whole was selected. In the effort, the stores featured organic produce on their flyers for the week, and organic fruits and vegetables filled premium display areas. The idea was to increase general awareness of organic products and organic agriculture. Stores reported their organic sales were up as much as 268 percent over the prior week, and one of the stores reported higher than normal organic produce sales the following week.
Meanwhile, Bristol Farms of El Segundo, CA, will be honored for its October promotion of The New Organics Company’s Richard Scarry line of certified organic foods for children. Its promotion, entitled "Best Ever Organic Food for Kids," was carried out in its 12 specialty grocery stores in Southern California. As a result of the promotion, sales of Richard Scarry products were four times higher than historical organic sales in the stores.
OTA’s "Big O" Merchandising Competition is designed to reward excellence in organic produce and grocery merchandising, as well as merchandising of fiber products. It is OTA’s way of giving industry recognition to outstanding retailing events that feature organic products. An annual competition, it is open to any North American retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturer/ supplier engaged in merchandising organic grocery or produce products.
The winners will receive a highly prized "Big O" plaque symbolizing outstanding organic merchandising in North America.
April 20, 2001
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