Given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, along with many doctors and leaders advising to keep gatherings to a minimum, Allegiance Retail Services (ARS) has been working with its customers to not only prepare, but to Make the Most of this Thanksgiving season. ARS is the merchandising and procurement arm for Foodtown, Gristedes, D’Agostino, Pathmark, Greenway, Market Fresh, Big Deal and other supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
ARS teams started early procuring turkeys in various sizes, including an increase in smaller size birds and breasts, as well as offering alternative items for its supermarkets participating in the free turkey program at Foodtown and other participating banners. And this year, customers will be able to choose between a turkey, turkey breast, ham, whole chicken, pork picnic or a $10 store gift card.
Allegiance also worked to procure, merchandise and market all key holiday items early this year for their supermarkets, especially baking.
“We all remember the high interest in baking that occurred this past spring at the start of the pandemic, creating a spike in yeast and the flood of banana breads posted to social media,” said John T. Derderian, president and COO of ARS. “It was important for our members to get ahead and stock store shelves early so their customers would have the opportunity to purchase all necessary baking items both ahead of Thanksgiving and through the end of the year.”
Additionally, ARS increased online marketing resources for its member supermarkets to promote. On Foodtown.com shoppers can find easy to follow turkey cooking, carving and serving suggestions, as well as easy side dishes and desserts. For those looking for healthy ideas for their holiday meal, Allegiance’s Easy to Eat Well w/Jacqueline program, which can be found on both Foodtown.com and the Foodtown Supermarkets Facebook page, is the most robust to date and includes recipes, tips and suggestions for both a healthy and satisfying meal.
The sites will feature a daily countdown to Make the Most of this Thanksgiving w/Jacqueline, beginning Sunday, Nov. 22, featuring healthy appetizers, sides, drinks, desserts and more.
And with so many people likely preparing a full Thanksgiving meal at home, Allegiance wanted to ensure its member supermarkets’ customers have resources for making the most of their Thanksgiving leftovers. A Facebook Live event is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 27, at 11 a.m. featuring ARS’s company registered dietician, Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, who will host a Q & A on “recovering from the holiday,” including healthy suggestions for turkey leftovers and tips for exercise and movement. Additionally, retail customers will have a chance to win a $100 Foodtown Gift Card when they share their own leftover creations.
“We understand this Thanksgiving may be a little different, and we wanted to ensure we do whatever we can to help our customers Make the Most of This Thanksgiving and the entire season,” Derderian said.