ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Retailers are working with snack food vendors to promote National Snack Food Month, which is slated for February.
In its sixth year, National Snack Food Month is sponsored jointly by the Snack Food Association here and the National Potato Board, Denver. The goal is to increase sales of salty snacks in February, traditionally a slow month.
This year's National Snack Food Month may be the biggest yet if it follows growth patterns of the last few years, said Kim Testerman, SFA communications assistant.
"In 1992, sales during National Snack Food Month were up 6%. In 1991, they were up 7.4% from 1990. In the four years that we had a display contest, it has definitely increased every year," she said.
Among them is Kroger Co., Cincinnati. Mike Overschmidt, senior category manager of grocery for the chain, sent a memo to all Kroger grocery merchandisers urging them to coordinate with snack food suppliers and take a retail-driven approach to snack sales for the month, SFA reported.
American Stores' Star Market division in Cambridge, Mass., is devoting a portion of its circular for the "Snack Free and Ski" event planned by Vincent Potato Chip Co., Salem, Mass., while Purity Supreme, North Billerica, Mass., and DeMoulas/ Market Basket, Tewksbury, Mass., also are exploring promotion
At Hy-Vee Food Stores, Chariton, Iowa, events are being planned on an individual store-by-store basis.
The supermarket chains named by SFA declined to comment further about their upcoming promotion events.
Jim Zyrowski, store director of Ben's Supermarket, a 25,000-square-foot independent in Brown City, Mich., told SN this year his store plans to build on the success it had with 1993's event.
"Last year, we built a big display that covered the front wall and was probably about 30 feet long. It incorporated all of the Frito-Lay snacks, as well as a tie-in with Pepsi products, and sales were up substantially," he said.
SFA's retail display contest is called Routing for Dollars. Last year's contest generated 613 displays nationwide, the association said.
"In (the) contest, SFA members can win up to $3,000 which can be split between them and a retail chain. The displays are a combined effort between the store managers and the route salespeople from the snack food companies. We find this promotion gets big displays up, and point-of-purchase displays tend to increase the consumer buying power considerably," Testerman said.