2012 New York Apple-Marzetti DeCA Display Contest Winners Announced

New York Apple Association (NYAA) has announced winners of its 2012 contest promoting commissary in-store displays of New York state apples and Marzetti products – though military families shopping at commissaries were the real winners, officials stressed. The 2012 contest was the 12th year for the NYAA-Marzetti event with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA).

Six winning commissaries were named in this year’s contest (contact Molly Golden at NYAA for photos of winning displays):

• Harrison Village, Indianapolis, Ind. – Thomasina Walker, produce manager
• Gunter Air Force Base, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Ala. – Rhonda Mitchell, produce manager
• Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala. – Marisol Henessey, produce manager
• Hurlburt Field, Hurlburt Field, Fla. – Yolanda Larson, produce manager
• Ft. Leonard Wood, Ft. Leonard, Mo. – Dominic Cirinione, produce manager
• Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Fla. – Roberto Ramos, produce manager

“Our partnership with Marzetti and DeCA just keeps getting stronger and better each year,” said NYAA’s Golden, director of marketing. “Working together again this year, we showed commissary customers the very best we all have to offer them.”

“Military families shopping at participating commissaries took home an average of almost 17 percent more delicious, nutritious New York state apples and apple products, demonstrating the value of our produce managers’ eye-catching displays,” said Bridget Bennett, DeCA’s director of produce operations. “That’s a win-win for our customers and our commissaries alike.”

This year’s contest was open to all commissaries in DeCA’s Eastern division, and ran from Jan. 23-Feb. 27. Entries were received from 69 commissaries in 25 states and the District of Columbia, a 70 percent participation rate.

Commissary displays featured New York apples and Marzetti Caramel Apple Dip and Apple Crisp. Displays were in place for at least two weeks, and could include bulk or bagged New York apple varieties such as McIntosh, Empire, Jonagold, Crispin, Rome or Cortland. Representatives of Bisek Company, national broker for Marzetti products, helped commissaries coordinate displays and sampling events during the contest.

Contest entrants reported sales results on their entry forms including:

• “39 percent increase in apple sales over last year.”
• “I am happy to report an increase of 32.7 percent over last year.”
• “64 percent increase in apple sales and 76 percent increase on Marzetti Caramel Apple Dip versus 2011.”

An independent panel of apple, advertising and retail industry experts judged entries for creativity, originality, custom signage and sales appeal. Two winners were chosen from three categories of store sizes, for a total of six awards.

Winning commissaries’ produce managers receive all-inclusive access to Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) popular Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, to be held in Anaheim this October.

The DeCA display contest promoted New York’s 2011 apple crop, which approached 30 million bushels.

A nonprofit agricultural trade association based in Fishers, N.Y., NYAA represents the state’s commercial apple growers. The association supports profitable growing and marketing of New York apples through increasing demand for apples and apple products, representing the industry at state and federal levels, and serving as the primary information source on New York apple-related matters. For more information, visit www.nyapplecountry.com.

Source: New York Apple Association