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Bako Sweet Concludes Summer Merchandising Contest

From left to right: Bruce Bird, FreshSource; Alexandra Rae Molumby, Bako Sweet; and Kevin Noguez, produce manager, Sprouts San Marcos.

Bakersfield, California-based Bako Sweet has concluded its retail merchandising contest that ran May 20-July 4.

Produce managers from Sprouts Colton Distribution Center were challenged to create the most creative displays using the brand’s organic sweet potato bags and Traeger grill-themed bin to promote sweet potato consumption during historically low sales months. As a result, stores that participated saw sales lift.

On average, stores that participated saw a 35 percent case per store per week lift and a total tonnage lift of 127 percent. Retailers that used the Traeger bin saw double the tonnage lift and a 6.1 percent increase in sales on average versus stores that did not use the bin.

Sprouts’ retail sales winners were awarded by weighing percent tonnage growth. The winners included:

  • 1st place, Traeger grill – Dean Yoshinaga, West Covina;

  • 2nd place, barbecue tool set – Scott Goodman, Woodland Hills; and

  • 3rd place, Personalized barbecue cutting board – Marc De Los Santos, Solana Beach.

Retail display winners were awarded based on effort and creativity. The winners were:

  • 1st place, Yeti cooler – Kevin Noguez, San Marcos;

  • 2nd place, $100 Amazon gift card – Nick Mcardle, Monrovia; and

  • 3rd place, $50 Amazon gift card – Jose Garcia, Hemet.

All other display contest participants received a $25 Amazon gift card for their participation.

“One of our goals this year was to increase sweet potato sales during the summer months,” said Chris Campion, senior sales manager, Colton at Sprouts. “We found this merchandising display extremely valuable in lifting sales and helping shoppers visualize using sweet potatoes on the grill.” 

From left to right: Noe Ambzquita, store manager, Sprouts San Marcos; Kevin Noguez, produce manager, Sprouts San Marcos; Michael Searle, consumer winner; and Alexandra Rae Molumby, Bako Sweet.

At each store, consumers were encouraged to participate in the brand’s Traeger grill giveaway online. This year’s winner, Michael Searle, was a shopper from San Marcos, California.

“We created this contest to show how effective display bins can be when trying to increase sales,” said Alexandra Rae Molumby, director of marketing for Bako Sweet. “We look forward to seeing sales grow during the summer months as retailers see the effectiveness of using merchandising displays to drive demand.”

For more than 75 years, Country Sweet Produce, the grower, packer and shipper of consumer brand Bako Sweet, has been growing sweet potatoes in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. Bako Sweet focuses on providing a variety of value-added, packaged sweet potatoes, as well as bulk sweet potatoes and specialty offerings.

To learn more about the brand’s product offerings and future retail merchandising opportunities, visit bakosweet.com.

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