ERIE, Pa. -- A unit of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets has won the top spot in the first-ever contest to promote imported Spanish clementine tangerines.
The Wegmans' unit, located here, was one of over 100 supermarkets to participate in the "Spanish Clementine Holiday Showcase" contest, which was sponsored by LGS Specialty Sales, Bronx, N.Y.
Rules of the contest required supermarkets to construct a display consisting of at least 50 cases of the "Darling Clemetine" brand tangerines. Wegmans' winning display used 125 cases of clementines, according to an LGS spokesperson.
Each of the displays also had to be up for three days during December or January, a mid-point between the growing season, which runs from November though February.
According to Terry Mascaro, produce manager of the winning Wegmans' store, his display drew a lot of attention from customers.
"The customers appreciated testing the best seedless tangerines out there," he said. "Everyone that tried them took some home."
Mascaro said that during the promotion, sales increased with every customer that sampled the Spanish clementines. According to a Wegmans' spokesperson quoted in the LGS press release, sales figures doubled from the previous year.
"Once they sampled it, it was an easy sale," he said. "Just getting the customer to taste it was all I really needed to do. They automatically came back to buy some more the next time they came in to shop."
The display Mascaro erected focused on the fact that the fruit originated in Spain. He designed a picture of a charging black bull that hung above the display along side a large sign reading "Clementine Tangerines," which stretched almost the entire length of the 14-foot-by-5-foot-display.