HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The month of October will get special emphasis this year in frozen food promotions, as the National Frozen Food Association, based here, launches its new October Frozen Food Festival.
Chairpersons have been selected, and already several local frozen food associations have finalized plans for the big October push. "In our strong National Frozen Food Month markets, it will probably do very well," said Jan Saumweber, vice president, sales, Sara Lee grocery division, Chicago.
She and Jeff Reagan, vice president for frozen food, Wakefern Food Corp., Elizabeth, N.J., are co-chairing the first annual event.
"We chose October because many of the local associations were already strong enough to do a theme promotion, Easy Home Meals with Frozen Foods," said Saumweber.
The October theme is a continuation of NFFA's national March promotion.
Sara Lee is using the October event to kick off the fall holiday season, doing customized retailer programming, she said, increasing its TV advertising and tying in with individual retailer programs. Saumweber said the NFFA web site, www.easyhomemeals.com, has had more than 400,000 customer hits since March, for the recipes and meal ideas to solve the "What's for Dinner?" dilemma.
In the last few years, the NFFA has encouraged the Cool Food For Kids promotions during October, working in bottle," he said, adding that most of the selection will be more reasonably priced.
The wine department here is divided by a ramp that connects it to the cafe. The entire left side is now red wines, merchandised by varietal and alphabetized within each varietal. On the right, the same merchandising strategy is used with the whites and blushes, Mahle said.
The stores will also emphasize Cal Rhone -- California wines made with Rhone varietals, and Cal Ital wines, which use Italian grape varieties. "Of course, there are cabernets, merlots, a large selection of Zinfandel," Mahle said, " Pinot Noirs, Cabernet Francs and everything else, from the obscure to the well-known," Mahle said.
Most of the reaction to the switch has been positive. The new concept will also be touted by dean-deluca.com on the Internet, which will focus 100% on California wines.
There are now five Dean & DeLuca units, including one in Kansas City. Wine and housewares are the top sellers in the Napa Valley store, while prepared foods get top billing in the store here, according to Kim Quilles, general manager.