SEATTLE (FNS) -- Retail promotions of Washington State wine in August spurred sales across the state, with the Seattle market alone growing sales more than 29%, ACNielsen figures showed.
Sixty-nine supermarket units across the state participated in the fifth annual Washington Wine Month, when retailers get the chance to create special displays and sweepstakes and offer special prices to encourage oenophiles to buy bottles from the state's 350-plus wineries.
Costco and Kroger-owned Quality Food Centers units featured winemaker bottle signings throughout the month. The QFC Bella Botega in Redmond displayed photos of vines and grapes throughout the seasons, meant to show the growing process. Haggen/Top Foods gave away a weekend in Washington wine country. The QFC stores partnered with a local radio station to give away dinner for eight at Teatro ZinZanni, a Seattle dinner theatre with circus acts.
In the Seattle market, sales jumped to $3.5 million in the four weeks that ended Aug. 27 from $2.7 million in the year-earlier period. In the Spokane market, sales increased 25.8% to $1.1 million, from $874,000 during the same period a year earlier.
"August Washington Wine Month is the most successful tool we have to increase awareness and move the sales needle for the state's wine industry," said Robin Pollard, executive director for the Washington Wine Commission, which sponsored the contest.
The most creative retailers were showcased at the annual Retail Awards event, which took place last month at Chateau Ste. Michelle, a Stimpson Lane-owned winery.
Six grand prizes of concert tickets and a local hotel stay went to QFC units in Redmond, Edmonds and Stanwood; Safeway units in East Bremerton and Sammamish; and Top Foods in Snohomish.
Second prizes of dinner for two at a local restaurant went to Fred Meyer's Redmond unit; QFC's Holman Road and Lacey stores; and Safeway locations in Anacortes, Fairwood and Issaquah.