LANDOVER, Md. -- Giant Food, a division of Ahold USA, here has scored a triple play in a promotional effort with Shape Magazine and Kellogg Co.
Last month marked the third year for the promotion, which offers Giant shoppers a free copy of Shape Magazine, a $2.99 value, with the purchase of two packages of Kellogg's cereal.
Steed Edwards, Giant Food's category manager, breakfast cereals, explained the goal of the account-specific program. Besides the obvious higher sales ring in buying two packs instead of one, Edwards said, "The intent is to stimulate sales with reduced promotional expense and to add variety, spice and value to the shopping trip."
This year's promotion, which ran in all of the chain's 176 stores was fine-tuned, according to Kathleen Snydstrup account executive for Giant, Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich. "This year we got even better promotional support," she said.
Kellogg's goal was to associate its brands with health and nutrition, therefore, the tie-in with British-based Weider Publishing's Shape Magazine, which, Snydstrup says, adds value to the Kellogg purchase, was appropriate.
The promotion featured an end cap containing a 44 by18 inch sign with colorful lettering exhorting customers to "Get a FREE Shape Magazine" and illustrating two Kellogg brands. The retailer provided a coupon ad in its Jan. 2 circular, along with a price feature on Special K. A 12-oz. box was priced at two-for-$5 ("Save $2.98 on 2"). Two other Kellogg brands prices at two-for-$5 were featured the following week.
Shape, supplied on a national level by TV Guide Distribution, were shipped with prepacks displaying 40 copies and were warehoused by Giant. Some of the chain's 140 food and drug combination units received two prepacks. Besides beefed up allotments to the stores, the promotion was also assisted by tear-off pads (produced by Weider) extolling the offer. They were attached to the prepacks, breakfast cereal shelving and to community bulletin boards. Giant buys most of its checkout titles direct, one source said, which are then stocked, maintained and returns prepared by store personnel.
Results from this year's promotion -- extended though use of the undated coupon and the prepack, which could be restocked from extra copies of the Shape issue provided to most stores -- were unavailable. Last year, however, the promotion registered a movement of 8,000 copies of Shape and an additional five weeks of incremental volume for Kellogg.
Selecting a date in early January for the launch was not arbitrary, according to Snydstrup. "New Year is a big resolution time, and resolving to do better with diet and heath is a major theme," she explained. "So our cereals with a focus on health are perfect for this time frame." She says that another good time promotional time is May or June. "That's when adults, especially women, start thinking about shaping themselves up for the bathing suit season."
When originally kicked off in 1997, "I was thinking about a tie-in with spas, and then I thought of Shape magazine," said Edwards. "I read it myself, and health and fitness in all its aspects is certainly its theme." Edwards teamed with Mike Centra, then Giant's magazine category manager, who said Shape was an excellent seller at the checkout and had a strong appeal to women. "That tie-in is good because it leverages Giant's strength as a food seller with profitable general merchandise," said Centra. "We would like to see more of this."