Save Mart Supermarkets
Save Mart Supermarkets (a unit of Super Store Industries) and Sunnyside Farms promoted the “Refuel with Chocolate Milk” message. The company handed out more than 3,500 samples of its 1% flavored milk.

Anthony Escobar, business manager of Super Store Industries, Lathrop, Calif., is the grand prize winner in MilkPEP’s annual awards program. Escobar demonstrated strong and effective efforts to increase awareness and grow milk sales using MilkPEP programs and resources. His entries showcased multi-faceted programs supported by well-rounded marketing efforts that creatively customized MilkPEP tools to reinforce Super Store Industries’ brand.

“Anthony worked tirelessly with the Super Store Industries sales and marketing team to take MilkPEP programs, make them his own and take them to a new level using social media,” said Julie Buric, vice president of marketing for the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C. “He is a marketing superstar.” Escobar’s campaigns also won in two other categories: Refuel with Chocolate Milk and Social Media.

The 2012 awards program ran from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, Now in its ninth year, the MilkPEP Annual Awards recognize processors for achieving success in sales and marketing as well as their use of MilkPEP programs and resources to help increase awareness and sales of their dairies’ branded milk products. This awards program was designed not only to reward processors who are outstanding marketers but also to share their success stories so others can get ideas and best practices for executing promotions and programs.

 “Each year we are incredibly impressed by the creativity and commitment demonstrated by processors to drive fluid milk sales and strengthen their brands,” Buric said.

Save Mart Supermarkets (a unit of Super Store Industries) and Sunnyside Farms once again teamed up to promote the Refuel message at the Amgen Tour of California on May 16. Known as one of the nation’s largest and most recognized annual sporting events, the Amgen Tour of California drew more than 2 million spectators during the 8-day cycling race.

As the title sponsor of Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California, Super Store Industries and Save Mart took advantage of this opportunity to get exposure for its Sunnyside Farms lowfat chocolate milk among the 48,000 fans that attended the Lifestyle Festival during this stage of the professional cycling race.

Under Escobar’s leadership, the Save Mart/Sunnyside Farms Refuel with Chocolate Milk tent was positioned near the finish line, where thousands of race fans could see the world’s best cyclists as they finished that leg of the tour. The MilkPEP Refuel signage displayed there was customized to build awareness for the Sunnyside Farms brand.

Escobar and the Super Store Industries team passed out over 3,500 samples of its Sunnyside Farms 1% lowfat chocolate milk and used many MilkPEP Refuel promotional materials and giveaways to keep the booth busy all day long. The freebies included 3,000 Refuel lanyards and brochures, 3,500 Refuel towels, 50 Refuel with Chocolate Milk T-shirts, and 1,000 got milk? shopping lists.

To maximize its marketing, Escobar and the Save Mart/Sunnyside Farms team distributed 3,000 “Like Us” on Facebook cards and took the time to explain the benefits of refueling with chocolate milk to booth visitors. The team also took photos and encouraged people to check out their photo on the Sunnyside Farms Facebook page. Chocolate milk sales had a double-digit increase for several weeks following the event. This campaign was honored in the “Refuel With Chocolate Milk” category.

The company also won in the “Social Media” category. In order to drive traffic to its Facebook page and increase the number of “likes,” Escobar developed “Like-A-Thons.” These Facebook promotions featured MilkPEP social media content and offered MilkPEP prizes to contest winners. Contest participants competed for prizes by getting their friends to visit the Facebook page, hit the Like button, and then post the name of the person who referred them to the page.

One of the Like-A-Thons increased the number of Likes by 30% in one day. Visits to the Facebook page were way up, and the dialogues increased from 20 to 30 per day to over one hundred. Equally important as the increase in Likes was the retention of the Likes after the contest ended.


Kemps hits a home run

In the category “Retail Promotions,” winner Mari Hicks, an account representative with Kemps LLC, Winnebago, Minn., used a milk-and-cookies promotion to drive sales of Kemps Select white milk gallons and Kemps Select double-chocolate half gallons. To play off of the popularity of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Kemps featured his image on their labels and displayed standees of him in stores. Hicks used MilkPEP’s POS kit and expanded it to include Kemps and Nabisco POS. Couponing and advertising further supported the promotion.


Producers Dairy is a double honoree

Joanne Heredia, a marketing and sales specialist with Producers Dairy, Fresno, Calif., developed an outreach program with a local elementary school as part of a larger curriculum for the 6th Annual Harvest of Knowledge, an agricultural education program in northern California.

This campaign was a winner in the “Schools” category. Her program focused on the importance of eating a nutritious breakfast each morning and milk’s role in a balanced and nutritious diet. Using MilkPEP materials, she created an exciting display to capture the student’s attention. To keep them engaged, she distributed giveaways and rolled out a breakfast challenge. The school’s breakfast program, which had been discontinued, was reinstated thanks to Heredia’s efforts and commitment.

Producers Dairy was also honored in the Breakfast at Home category. The processor sponsored California’s Central Unified School District’s Summer Seamless Meals Program, a program that provides free nutritious meals for low-income students and their families throughout the summer. Heredia used MilkPEP materials and the Back to School Post breakfast toolkit to educate students and their parents about the importance of lowfat milk in their diets and to enhance the school district’s program.

During the 3-week sponsorship, Heredia set-up tables at various locations to speak with students and distribute meals and “got milk?” giveaways. She also interviewed Central Unified School District Director of Nutrition Maurice Burress and incorporated his interview into a video which she posted on Producers Dairy’s YouTube channel.

Milk consumption during the summer program increased 78% from the previous year, and approximately 250,000 meals were provided for the students and families which generated tremendous exposure for Producers Dairy.


Kroger scares up sales at Halloween

Vince Front, a sales planner with The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, led a national effort to support the annual “Chocolate Milk: The Official Drink of Halloween” promotion in 2,000 stores. Front won in the category Marketing & Product Innovation.

Working with artwork provided by MilkPEP, Front created a customized branded chocolate milk label to generate interest. The product labels were then applied through Krogers’ manufacturing plants. The special Halloween chocolate milk product was shipped to Kroger stores nationwide from the end of September and through October.

To add excitement around the promotion, Front planned special in-store promotions around “Kids Night Out” with divisions competing for the “Chocolate Milk Leader” title. Milk was promoted through weekly features and in online ads as well as sampling events. Front’s innovative marketing helped milk tonnage increase overall by double digits during the sales period.


Prairie Farms’ hosts pre-game fun at an NFL game in St. Louis

Prairie Farms, Hazelwood, Mo., teamed up with the St. Louis Dairy Council to provide St. Louis Rams football fans with a Halloween treat. Prairie Farms account manager Rich Winkler conducted an event at E.D. Jones football stadium when the Rams took on the New Orleans Saints the day before Halloween. There was a crowd in excess of 60,000 who had to pass the Prairie Farms event since it was adjacent to the stadium and strategically positioned between the two main entrances to the field.

Winkler used all of the tools in the MilkPEP Halloween kit to generate excitement and interest. In addition to sampling Prairie Farms fat free chocolate milk, he distributed MilkPEP information sheets highlighting the benefits of chocolate milk and coupons for Prairie Farms dairy products.

Several local media outlets filmed the Halloween event generating positive exposure for Prairie Farms. The campaign earned Prairie Farms and Winkler the top honor in the Local Processor Events category.

Sales and marketing professionals can enter the MilkPEP Awards online at any time throughout the year, and they can win a prize by telling their story to MilkPEP. Complete an online entry form and describe the promotion or program, how MilkPEP materials were used and the results generated from those efforts. See  n

—    This article was written by MilkPEP.