OTA to Honor Pratt Foods as Its "Big O" Winner - Organic Trade Association
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OTA to Honor Pratt Foods as Its "Big O" Winner


GREENFIELD, Mass. (Oct. 6, 1999) – The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will present its 1999 "Big O" Merchandising Competition Award to Pratts Food & Health Store of Oklahoma City during Organic Day festivities at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, MD.

The award presentation will take place at OTA’s annual meeting luncheon Oct. 21 at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel. The luncheon is held in conjunction with Natural Products Expo East, which runs Oct. 20-24 in Baltimore.

Pratts Food & Health Store is a 32,000 square foot upscale grocery store at 39th and Portland in the northwest section of Oklahoma City. It is part of Pratt Foods Supermarkets, a family-owned conventional grocery chain which has offered certified organic food and nutritional supplements at four of its nine locations since 1989. Organic products are integrated throughout these four "Wellmarket" stores. The Oklahoma City store is the retailer’s success story, with organic and natural food products representing over 16 percent of total store sales.

In its award-winning promotion conducted throughout 1998, Pratts Food featured the theme "Bring Home Organic" to build up its sales of organic and natural foods. During its Organic Harvest month promotion in September 1998 alone, the store’s produce department experienced a 30% increase in sales versus the previous month.

"We have taken the natural food store concept and have integrated it into our grocery store. By doing this, we have given our customers a choice that makes it convenient for them to do their shopping. Our challenge was to locate the organic and natural foods in each category within the store departments and somehow distinguish them from the conventional products, which we have accomplished," according to the company’s award-winning entry.

Among its promotions were signs pointing out that "organically grown" recycles water, builds living soils, preserves farmland, purifies air and water, provides wildlife habitat, reverses global warming, honors rural life and work, grows healthy food, and encourages biological diversity. The company used monthly flyers, sponsorship of a radio talk show "Your Health Matters," ads in a weekly flyer, and special ads during Organic Harvest month as part of its promotional efforts. In addition, all employees in the store’s produce and health food sections wear aprons proclaiming "Certified Organic."

OTA’s "Big O" Merchandising Competition is designed to reward excellence in organic produce and grocery merchandising. It is OTA’s way of giving industry recognition to outstanding retailing events which 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 2000 competition will add a category for fiber products.

The winner receives a highly prized "Big O" plaque symbolizing the best organic merchandising in North America, a cash prize, and is honored publicly at OTA’s annual meeting at Expo East.

October 6, 1999

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