LOS ANGELES -- Center Store products will play a starring role in the 3rd Annual Gran Expo Hogarama, which is being sponsored by Ralphs Grocery Co. and Food 4 Less.
The festival will be held Sunday, Aug. 9, on Olvera Street -- the city's birthplace in the heart of downtown -- and will feature all-day live entertainment, as well as booths where Ralphs' participating vendors can sample their wares. Booths are also available for nonprofit organizations to provide information on citizenship, voter registration, immigration, career advancement, etc.
More than 15,000 visitors are expected.
Officials at Ralphs and Food 4 Less corporate headquarters in Compton, Calif., did not return calls seeking comment, but Marcelino Miyares Jr., president of JSA en espanol here, the festival's organizer, said more Center Store products are participating this year than ever before.
Sponsors include Quaker Oats, Best Foods, Kimberly-Clark, Reynolds Metals and Kraft Foods.
"We are looking at about 40 brands participating this year, up from 21 or 22 last year, and about 95% of the brands are grocery," Miyares said, adding that JSA en espanol is looking to target more nonfood and financial services-type firms.
The event will be heavily merchandised in the 18 Ralphs and 22 Food 4 Less stores in the Los Angeles area that will be participating because of their large Hispanic clientele. Ralphs and Food 4 Less will "plus out" cases for the participating brands.
"The manufacturers guarantee performance and then Ralphs and Food 4 Less guarantee they are going to buy incremental cases for that performance," Miyares said.
The sponsorship package for manufacturers costs $22,500 and includes ad features for the two weeks surrounding the festival, a guaranteed ad display in the Ralphs and Food 4 Less direct mail circular that reaches more than 800,000 Hispanic homes in the area and a half-page ad in Hogarama, which is distributed to 460,000 Hispanic households in Los Angeles.
Sponsors also receive a 10-foot by 10-foot booth at the fair to sample their products and/or provide discount coupons and information.
Gran Expo Hogarama, named after a free Spanish language magazine that JSA en espanol publishes, is also being supported with a coupon drop and a full-page ad that is scheduled to run in the Los Angeles Times shortly before the actual event.
There will also be a sweepstakes and for the first time a theme. This year's theme is "back-to-school."
Miyares said officials of both Ralphs and the grocery partners have been pleased with the first two Gran Expo Hogaramas.
"They are real happy with the case movement that they generated and the coupon redemption they received. And they are happy with the event itself because it is a very wholesome family-oriented event and there are not too many of those in our community," he said.
Based on the success of the Los Angeles festival, Miyares said he is looking to do shows in Houston and the other top 10 U.S. cities with large Hispanic populations.