NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Acirca, a producer of certified organic foods and beverages here, is taking a chef's organic garden on the road in support of its Walnut Acres brand soups and salsas.
The sampling tour -- the first major such effort for Walnut Acres -- began last month in Seattle and will continue visiting supermarkets, festivals and green markets in the New York metropolitan area through mid-November.
"We created a branded vehicle in the form of an organic garden through which Americans can come to understand what makes organic different," said Michael Neuwirth, spokesman for Acirca. "We want to give Americans their first taste of organic soups and salsas."
The campaign features a mobile organic garden complete with a 12-foot greenhouse and eight-foot sampling kitchen. Visitors can taste the Walnut Acres soups and salsa on premise, as well as take home sampling kits that include the products.
According to Neuwirth, the company is aggressively pursuing placement on conventional grocery shelves, and is using this tour to reach large chains nationwide.
"We aspire to be a more valued trading partner to major retailers," he said. "We are establishing product offerings and brand recognition in the most dynamic categories, such as ready-to-eat soups."
The organic garden was present at the grand opening of a Fred Meyer on Sept. 20 in Olympia, Wash. It was set up in the parking lot and featured a welcoming "veggie brigade" -- brand ambassadors dressed as vegetables.
"It's a great attraction," he said. "It really creates store-level excitement and added value for shoppers."
The company is currently building a future sampling calendar that would begin in December and continue into the new year.