2008 Retail Beef Backer Award® Winners

The 2008 Retail Beef Backer Award winners included Associated Food Stores, Adam's Hometown Market and Kroger. Read below to learn more about the 2008 winners. 

Chain of the Year, Associated Food Stores

Associated Food Stores' commitment to beef marketing, staff training and customer service earned them the 2008 Beef Backer Award in the Chain Category. Associated, which has 480 stores in 8 western states, was recognized for its participation in several beef checkoff-funded programs such as Easy Fresh Cooking® and Beef Value Cuts, as well other independent merchandising programs carried out by the retailer. Associated Food Stores conducts a Meat Category Masters Series that serves as a year-round educational resource for the entire meat department. The company held four major seminars in 2008 to train personnel on new beef cuts, merchandising techniques, and customer service.

Associated's meat department carries a wide variety of beef cuts under nine different brands to accommodate customers' needs. The store's branding campaign for ground beef, the Ultimate Ground Beef program, highlights the in-store daily fresh grinding and safety of Associated's ground beef products.

Independent of the Year, Adam's Hometown Market

Based in Cheshire, Connecticut, the chain has nine stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Adam's received the award for their participation in beef checkoff-funded programs and also for a special promotion to give away a free backyard barbeque.

The meat departments did an outstanding job to promote beef throughout their stores. They participated in several beef checkoff-funded programs including Summer Grilling promotions, Easy Fresh Cooking®,Beef Value Cuts and Beef Training Camp.

Adam's also initiated their own successful promotion to reward customers who made beef purchases. The Adam's "Sizzlin' Summer SweepSTEAKS" allowed customers to enter into the contest each time they used their rewards cards when making a beef purchase in July 2008. The winner received all the important ingredients for a complete backyard barbeque including a Weber® gas grill, Flat Iron steaks and side dishes for a party of eight, a grilling tool set and a BEEF apron. If a customer did not receive the grand prize, there was still hope to win something; one customer at each store received $100 worth of groceries. The promotion resulted a five percent increase in beef sales compared to the same period last year.

Innovator of the Year, The Kroger Company

The Kroger Company is the winner of the 2008 Retail Beef Backer® Award in the Innovator Category for its "Sealed for Freshness" program. Retail Beef Backer Award winners are selected based on their excellent merchandising of beef at the meat case.

In the fall, Kroger launched a new packaging program in its Dillons and Fred Meyer banners that was designed to keep meat fresh longer. The airtight packaging was introduced in September 2008 in all 94 Dillons stores and 129 Fred Meyer stores throughout the Midwest and West U.S. The initial launch featured several cuts of beef including Thin Sliced Beef Steak, a new cut from the Shoulder Clod. The new packaging made it easier than ever for customers to select and store fresh beef, plus addresses several key areas that impact retailers – shrink, in-stock position and sales. Kroger partnered with Tyson Fresh Meats and Cryovac® to use Darfresh™ packaging, a new technology that differs from traditional store-wrapped packaging. The bottom part of the package is printed with product information and recipes.

The stores got the word out about the new packaging through point-of-sale (POS) materials, weekly ads, radio spots, live radio remotes, in-store demos, in-store chef demos and recipe cards. The promotions conveyed "Sealed for Freshness" benefits to customers.

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