PRODUCE MANAGERS EARN RECOGNITION FOR DISPLAYS
th a flair for merchandising were recognized recently at the second annual Fresh Ways with Supersweet Corn display contest. Kroger stores in Ohio, Texas and Michigan took top honors in three of the five regions. A Shaw's Supermarkets store in Wallingford, Conn., and a Publix Super Markets store in Orlando, Fla., won the remaining two regions in the contest, which attracted twice as many entries this year, vs. last year. The contest's sponsor, the Fresh Supersweet Corn Council, awarded more than $10,000 in prizes, including mini-radios sent to all entrants. Each of the winning produce managers received $1,000. At store level, the displays paid off. Stores reporting corn sales from their displays showed an average sales increase of 36% over same-week sales the previous year, officials said. Results were based on photos of corn displays that were judged on the volume/variety of corn, creativity, cross merchandising, ease of shopping, use of point-of-sale materials provided by the corn council, and visibility of the council's Web site, www.freshsupersweetcorn.com.
SOUTHEAST PRODUCE COUNCIL ANNOUNCES CONFERENCE
ELLIJAY, Ga. -- The Southeast Produce Council's second annual conference and expo, dubbed "Southern Exposure," will target retail and food-service buyers, directors, merchandisers and other produce industry partners at a larger venue this year. The event will be held March 10-12 at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Fla. During panel discussions and other events, produce executives from the retailing side, as well as other industry experts, will discuss trends, opportunities and challenges facing the industry, the role restaurants play as competitors to retailers and how suppliers can develop "value-added" relationships with retailers. The Southeast Produce Council was established to promote the fresh fruit, vegetable and supermarket floral industries in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. For information on the conference, call Terry Vorhees, 941-773-9173, or log onto the Web site at www.seproducecouncil.com.
SUPER FLORAL EXPANDS EDUCATION PROGRAM
BOSTON -- The Super Floral Show, the leading trade show for high-volume floral and foliage buyers, has expanded the education component of the 2005 exhibition to better serve retailers, officials announced. The program is set up in four tracks -- the business of floral, marketing and merchandising, opportunities for growth, and focus on garden centers -- to allow retailers and exhibitors to focus on sessions of greatest importance to them. The program will include 19 sessions geared to help retailers and suppliers identify growth opportunities, generate repeat business and increase efficiency and profitability, officials said. Among the topics to be covered will be marketing to ethnic consumers. training personnel, e-mail marketing, transportation and logistics, growth through outdoor selling, and increasing repeat business. The education program will take place June 22 with the exhibition scheduled for June 23-25 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston.
UFFVA ACCEPTING LEADERSHIP PROGRAM APPLICATIONS
WASHINGTON -- The United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association is accepting applications for its 11th annual Produce Industry Leadership Program. Following a competitive application process, the Leadership Program's advisory committee each year selects 12 leadership fellows from a cross section of the produce industry, including growers, packers and retailers. Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, the 2005 class will participate in four customized programs during the year, including meetings with influential leaders in Washington and a specially designed curriculum at the University of California, Davis. Interested applicants can download the necessary forms at www.uffva.org, or contact UFFVA at (202) 303-3400.