CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (August 11, 2008) – Ocean Mist Farms received a marketing excellence award from Produce Business magazine.
The award recognizes innovative produce companies who are revolutionizing the way the produce industry connects its products to the trade and consumers, according to the magazine’s guidelines.
Ocean Mist Farms was awarded for creativity demonstrated by a promotion called "Chili 'n Chokes" created for Raley’s/Nob Hill supermarkets.
Ocean Mist worked with Adrienne Bilske, a home cook , Salinas Valley television personality and head of the "Healthy Eating Lifestyle" program, to create a recipe that could be "demonstrated" and sampled in the produce department using fresh artichokes.
Consumers of all ages enjoy chili and know how to eat chili with a spoon or chips so Bilske came up with the idea of using cooked low-calorie artichoke leaves to eat chili instead of tortilla chips or even a spoon.
Two Ocean Mist Farms representatives made chili on site in the produce department at Raley’s stores and served it to shoppers in small cups, topped with grated cheese and two or three artichoke leaves tucked into the side. A recipe card with a photo was also available for shoppers and the table/serving area was decorated with other artichoke point-of-sale material.
The promotion was a huge success. Because shoppers could smell the chili, they were drawn to the table to investigate the activity. Initially Ocean Mist had planned to buy chili from Raley’s store delis for the promotion, but the delis couldn’t keep up with demand (six pounds of chili initially.)
Children especially loved the recipe with one 6-year-old boy coming back to eat seven samples, said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager. One shopper said he came to try the recipe because his neighbor told him how good it was. Several shoppers left the check-out lines to try the chili and chokes recipes, and then walked to the artichoke display to buy artichokes before returning to line.
Raley’s sold more than 150 cases of artichokes during the course of the two promotional weekends and Ocean Mist Farms distributed 700 recipe cards and served 1,200 people.
This is the 20th annual marketing excellence awards sponsored by Produce Business magazine.