RICHMOND, Va. -- Ukrop's Super Markets here is testing a Nestle Toll House in-store bakery program at four of its stores and expects to roll the program out chainwide next year.
The test was launched earlier in a single unit -- at Pump Road in the Short Pump section of Richmond -- where the 25-unit chain often showcases new programs.
Under a co-marketing agreement with the Foodservice division of Nestle USA, Glendale, Calif., Nestle Toll House products are baked in-store and at Ukrop's central baking facility and then merchandised with the Nestle Toll House name and logo spotlighted.
Packaging for the products bears both Ukrop's name and the Nestle Toll House logo plus a brief history of the Nestle Toll House tradition. The Nestle Toll House products are offered in the bakery service case as well as in bags and boxes in other locations throughout the store, including at the meals-to-go express checkout lane.
In the Ukrop's Short Pump store recently, where the in-store bakery is just inside one of the front entrances, a banner overhead called attention to the Nestle Toll House-Ukrop's link-up. A large product card inside the bakery service case also displayed the Nestle Toll House logo. Boxes of Toll House chocolate chip cookies were offered self-service from a table display just in front of the service counter.
The cube-shaped, windowed boxes used the Nestle Toll House colors -- yellow and brown -- and bore the company's logo as well as the Ukrop's name and a line that read, "Freshly Baked Just for You!" They held five large cookies and weighed 6 ounces. The retail: $3.49.
The cookie varieties were mini chocolate chip cookies, "the size of a half dollar," for $4.79 a pound, and "regular-size" chocolate chip cookies and nutty peanut butter cookies, both for 89 cents each. Nestle Toll House brownies were available in these flavors: chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal, cappuccino and turtle. They ranged in retail price from $1.29 to $1.49 each, depending on the flavor.
In a joint statement last month, Ukrop's and Nestle USA said test results have been excellent and, as a result, additional stores will get the program this fall. They also said that a 1998 rollout is planned.
"Our customers love the products. I have heard nothing but rave reviews. The Nestle team for this test has set the gold standard for a co-marketing partnership," Jackie Legg, Ukrop's vice president of solution shopping, said in the statement.
Legg could not be reached for further comment and a Nestle spokeswoman declined to provide additional details about the co-marketing program.