PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway here has announced a partnership with St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire for an exclusive opportunity to lend financial support to Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa's Bay Area Animal Rescue Foundation through the sale of Safeway's Toasted Oats cereal.
According to a company press release, Safeway's Toasted Oats cereal box is featuring a first-ever endorsement in the private-label category of foods. The cereal boxes are available for a limited time to all Safeway and Vons stores in the United States. The boxes hit store shelves Oct. 4 and the product will only be available for an eight-week period, or until supplies last.
McGwire is baseball's single-season home run king with 70, a record that was set during the 1998 season. The limited-edition box features a picture of McGwire greeting his son after hitting a homerun. His name in red letters runs up the left side of the box's front. At the bottom, there is a color photo of a bowl of Toasted Oats, and the red Safeway symbol is in the upper right hand corner.
Endcap displays assist the promotion, and shippers were sent throughout the Safeway chain. The display features hanging banners and the cereal stacked in different angles standing about 10 feet high. The suggested retail price of one box is $3.99.
Fifteen percent of sales from each box are going to LaRussa's ARF to help support programs, which include efforts to keep terminally ill people and their animals together, pet-assisted therapy at acute care and senior care facilities, animal visits to abused children and a battered pet program.
In a statement issued by LaRussa through Safeway, the manager said the funds will reach a number of people nationwide. "The next logical step is to have an impact beyond our community. The funds raised from the sales of the Safeway brand of Toasted Oats with Mark McGwire on the cover will help us reach more people and animals and extend our goals nationally," said LaRussa.
This is not the first promotion between Safeway and the ARF. Their partnership began in 1998 when Safeway's NutraBalance pet food became the ARF's official pet food.