COLTON, Calif. - Stater Bros. Markets here enhanced one of its largest annual sampling events by promoting more kid-friendly and local brands.
Samples of Frito-Lay potato chips and coupons for several Kellogg's brands - including Pop-Tarts and SpongeBob fruit snacks - were among the items included in 30,000 goodie bags distributed at the 117th Tournament of Roses' Rose Parade last month in Pasadena, Calif.
"This year, we targeted products that parade viewers would enjoy with their children," said Jack Brown, Stater Bros.' chairman and chief executive officer.
Also for the first time, the chain featured coupons for local brands, including corn tortillas from Mission Foods, which operates manufacturing plants in California.
The bags included a handful of product samples, $30 worth of coupons, and key chains and other souvenirs.
Nearly a dozen coupons were for free products that normally retail from about $1.50 to $4.59. Along with the Kellogg's and Mission Foods brands, free items included Bar-S hot dogs, Minute Maid, Coke and a Stater Bros. deli soup/sandwich combo.
"The coupons were not only a way to thank those who currently shop with us, but also to encourage new customers," Brown said.
The promotion was a joint effort between Stater and Mass Connections, Cerritos, Calif., a marketing services provider.
Louis Tran, Mass Connections' director of business development, said the high-value coupons boost consumer perception about Stater Bros.
"What's great about the coupons is that they help to drive consumers to the store," Tran said.
Mass Connections' personnel delivered the bags while spectators were lining up, so recipients had plenty of time to peruse them before the parade started.
Stater Bros. has distributed goodie bags during the parade for nearly a decade. And each year, it looks for ways to enhance the program. Last year there were 28,000 bags.
"This is a wonderful marketing tool, since the parade is right in our backyard," Brown said.
In-store, the chain promoted the event with point-of-sale materials that included tear pads for a giveaway involving free parade tickets.