PHOENIX -- Forget the meat and potatoes. Abco Foods here had success pairing meat and paper goods.
The chain teamed with Kimberly Clark last month for a novel "Blue Ribbon Meats Sweep-Steaks" merchandising event.
The "Sweep-Steaks" promotion was designed to increase exposure of Abco's Blue Ribbon Meat department and increase full-line product sales of Kimberly Clark products, said chain officials. It was the first time the chain tied-in paper goods with its Blue Ribbon Meats for a major promotion.
"We merchandised the promotion with displays [of assorted Kimberly Clark products]," said David Helmsing, vice president of advertising at Abco. "Our stores do a great job of tying into our sales and promotions with displays. I believe we also had a display contest with the stores where they could win some certificates."
According to one Phoenix area market observer, the displays constructed by Abco employees nicely tied together the two seemingly unrelated product categories.
"They weren't huge displays, but they were tied in miscellaneous ways. There was cross-merchandising where they might have a barbecue and some products surrounding it. They didn't have feminine care products in that particular display, but they did have paper towels and napkins," the observer said.
Kimberly Clark paper items featured in the promotion included Kleenex facial tissue, 99 cents a box; Kleenex bathroom tissue, in a four double-roll package at $1.99, and Hi-Dri paper towels, two rolls for $1. Diapers and personal care items featured included 10- to 40-count packages of Huggies for $6.99; Huggies baby wipes, two packages for $5; Poise pads, $4.99, and Kotex tampons, $2.89.
The "Sweep-Steaks" included a sweepstakes that featured a grand prize of a $1,000 meat department gift certificate, a 21-cubic-foot freezer worth $750 and a $250 General Electric microwave oven. First prize was $500 in meat gift certificates, and a microwave oven. There were two second prizes of a microwave oven and $95 in gift certificates, and each of Abco's 70 stores awarded $95 in meat gift certificates.
Shoppers entered the sweepstakes by clipping an entry coupon from the chain's weekly circular, or by picking one up in the store, and mailing it to a post office box.
Helmsing said the idea for the promotion was Kimberly Clark's. Cammy Krieger, an account services executive at Evans Group, the advertising agency here that coordinated the event for Dallas-based Kimberly Clark, said she received three plastic mail bins full of entries.
"Blue Ribbon Meat is just a hot item down here. All Abco ads proclaim that they are the Blue Ribbon Meat, and they are the best meat that you can get in the Valley. We just tied-in with that. We knew if we could tie-in with something Abco promotes on a daily basis it would be a hit," Krieger said.