ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kowalski's Market here targeted the peewee set with a "Kids Rule!" sale that featured children's favorite foods.
The promotion included displays, demonstrations and a petting zoo at Kowalski's White Bear Lake, Minn., store. At the unit, the event was also tied in with Manitou Days, an annual community celebration. This year's Manitou Days theme was "Kids! Wave of the Future!"
"We hold our event in the summer because the kids are out of school and the parents are always looking for fun things for them to do. Plus, there are more meals that they are eating at home and so the parents are always looking for different snack foods," said Deb Kowalski, director of operations.
Likewise, the event attracts families with children to the store.
"Kids can be very powerful and competitive marketers," she noted.
Kowalski said that while Kowalski's Markets has run events targeted at children in the past, this year's event was the largest.
"One of the biggest differences with this year's promotion is that we had demos every day, all week long. We had kids doing the demos. They were supervised by our demo staff, and consisted primarily of my kids and relatives," she said.
"We tried to hit every department and do the foods that my 10-year-old would eat. The kids had a blast," she said.
Items that were demonstrated included s'mores, root beer floats, Oscar Mayer Lunchables, Gobble Sticks jerky snacks and deli department wrap sandwiches made with peanut butter, jelly and bananas.
Kowalski said Kids Rule! was supported with displays of featured items and more aggressive pricing than in the past.
Featured Center Store items included a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola for 88 cents; Fruitopia drinks, three for $2; Skippy peanut butter, 18-ounce jar for $1.49; Welch's grape jelly, 32-ounce jar, $1.39; Old Dutch potato chips, $1.69 a 14-ounce bag; Tiny Toon fruit snacks, two 10-ounce boxes for $3, and Hershey's ice cream topping, $1.15 a 16-ounce jar.
Frozen-food items included Stouffer's French bread pizza, $1.69 a box; Totino's Party Pizza, Pizza Rolls and Stuffed Nachos, two for $2; Kid Cuisine dinners, $1.29; and assorted Nestle ice cream bars, $1.79 a box.
In addition to the two Kowalski's Markets units, the company also operates a Cub Foods store.
Retailers can often be misled by stereotypes about baby boomers.
Here are 10 facts about boomers, which especially apply to older ones, according to Dick Ambrosius, president of GRA Associates, a marketing consulting firm in Sioux Falls, S.D., specializing in mature consumption:
1. Three watchwords that describe their values are autonomy, choice and empowerment.
2. They are less subject to peer influence, but will use friends as information sources.
3. They increasingly demand facts.
4. They respond to emotional appeals.
5. They are less self-oriented and more altruistic. 6. They like companies that do well financially and give back to society.
7. They spend more time making decisions. For the first time in history, marketers must pass muster with a large group of "Ph.D. consumers" who have 40 or more years of real world experience. Although they are thorough, they can also be spontaneous and buy on the spot.
8. They are less concerned with price and more sensitive to value and service. At the same time, they like a bargain when buying nondiscretionary items (as shown in their wide use of coupons).
9. They expect honesty. They are less tolerant of bad service with each passing year.
10. They are less fixed in their ways than younger consumers. Boomers see the world in shades of gray, while younger consumers are more literal-minded.