Winning Display supports Troops in Iraq

by Ann Przybyla Wilkes
SFA Vice President of Communications
A snack display that encouraged consumers to donate snacks to U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq resulted in the collection of four pallets of snacks for the troops. It also won a first place in the “All Snacks — Large Display” category in the 12th annual Snack Food Association (SFA)/U.S. Potato Board (USPB) Routing for Dollars Display Contest.
A large banner over the 14 by 16 ft. display, built by Snyder’s of Hanover District Manager Bill Metzger, encouraged consumers to “support our troops” by sending snacks to Iraq. Consumers could purchase snacks from the display, which included a life-size mannequin in battle dress uniform, and put them into donation baskets by the store’s front checkout. An accompanying sign explained that Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based Sunshine Market, Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels and the 109th field artillery of the Pennsylvania National Guard, U.S. Army, would box the donated snacks and send them to Iraq.
Creativity Soars
The first annual Routing for Dollars Display Contest was held during National Snack Food Month (February) in 1994. Yet, as this display shows, after 12 years, the contest continues to generate creative displays and excitement.
Second place in the “All Snacks — Large Display” went to Utz’ Kal Shahateet for the creation of a roadside stand of snacks, complete with a tree made from Utz snacks, at a Fairfax, Va.-based Safeway. A carousel of snacks won Golden Flakes’ Andrew Tony Vargus and Woodard’s Market and Deli, Lynchburg, Tenn., third place in this category.
A display featuring pork skins took second place in the “All Snacks — Small Display” category. The display was built by Gerald Womble of Golden Flake Snack Foods and was featured at the Davis & Eslick grocery stores in Pulaski, Tenn. First place in this category encompassed a Mexican theme that included tortilla chips and salsa. It was set up by Snyder of Berlin’s Steven Hoyne at the Belle Vernon, Pa. Shop ‘n Save.
Displays of all potato chips could also be entered into two categories: large displays over six feet in width or small displays under six feet in width. First place in the small potato chip display category went to Frito-Lay’s Dale Goodman for his “National Snack Food Month Snackademy Awards” display at a New Albany, Ind. Kroger Supermarket.
An elaborate 22-ft. display depicting the U.S. presidents at Mount Rushmore won first place in the large potato chip display category. It was created by Sean Herron, Herr Foods, at the Washington, Pa. Shop ‘n Save store.
15th National Snack Food Month
National Snack Food Month, which originated in 1989, traditionally kicks-off with the Super Bowl at the end of January. A popular category in the Routing for Dollars Display Contest is Super Bowl. This year’s first place winner in this category depicted a tailgate party that included a grill and the back of a truck filled with Utz’ snacks. Utz’ Brent Zockoll, along with Sonny Nock, Superfresh, Ocean City, Md., split the $4,000 first prize.
In addition to first place, prizes awarded in each category were: second place — $2,000; third place — $1,000; and 10 $200 honorable mentions. Each of these prizes was divided equally between the SFA route salesperson and his or her retail partner. This year’s contest also included a random drawing for six $300 prizes among all the displays that included canned dips. Land O’Lakes Inc. sponsored the random drawing prizes, which were for the SFA member salespeople only.
A new category in the 2004 Routing of Dollars contest was for snack displays in C-stores. The first place winner, entitled, “Let’s Celebrate with the Bachman Band,” listed all the holidays in February and suggested celebrating with chips and dips. The display was in Enser’s Mini Mart in Hamburg, New York. Daniel Sisti was the winning SFA member route salesperson.
SFA and USPB would like to thank the judges for this year’s contest: Elizabethe Bogart, Vice President, Strategic Industry Initiatives, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and Scott Ramminger, President, American Wholesaler Marketer Association (AWMA). There were 394 total entries in the 2004 Routing for Dollars Display Contest, with 87 of them from Birmingham, Ala.-based Golden Flake Snack Foods.
“To encourage participation, Golden Flake matches the prizes our route salespeople win in the Routing for Dollars Display Contest,” said Julie Strauss, Director of Marketing for Golden Flake Snack Foods, Birmingham, Ala. However, she explained that the additional check from Golden Flake is only an initial incentive. “The biggest benefit is the increased sale commissions that occur because of the displays,” she added.
It’s time to start planning for the next SFA/USPB display contest. The 2004 Halloween contest will offer a record number of prizes. Details will be available during the summer.