Retailers promote Seal of Excellence

The key activity of our program this season has been to gain MSQ program understanding and acceptance by North American retail chains.  To that end, both our Mexico City and U.S.-based marketing teams have met with these chains and delivered compelling slide and video presentations detailing our program.

Actually, we have been doing this for a couple of seasons but now are seeing  concrete and measurable results as retailers increase their Mexico produce sourcing and become more familiar with our program and Seal.  Importantly, we are now able to convince these chains to communicate to their customers the quality and safety of their imports using advertising and promotion vehicles.

The high quality of produce out of Mexico these days has been a great persuader.  As one of our Masters of MCS program recipients (see 4/20 post),  produce director Steve Wright (Spartan Foods, MI, 400+ stores)  recently noted:

“Michigan is a big agricultural state so I get to see a lot of fields and packing houses to compare, but I continue to be impressed by the dedication made to food safety, sanitation, and technology in Mexico.”

Spartan’s customers look for value, and Mexico produce this season has delivered that in addition to the quality.  Wright said he is also pleased to see specific grower groups such as the Sonora Grape Association (AALPUM), where every member is MSQ-certified.  “It makes it easier for us to promote the crop and industry in question.”  That is why he is currently running grape ads featuring the Seal.

Another chain of similar thinking in our target market of the Midwest (where we have the greatest opportunity for growth) is on the upper end of the demographic scale,  Hollywood Markets, of Detroit (17 stores).   Pictured above is the beautiful grape ad they ran featuring our Seal…need we say more?

On the other side of the country are major wholesalers like Charlie’s Produce, also a 2010 Master of MCS recipient, servicing over 600 stores throughout the Northwest and into Alaska.  They opted to post the Seal on their web site with verbiage briefly explaining the program, plus a link to this blog and our main website.

With over 1.3 million hits on their site during this period (April-May) the impact of such an effort adds up.  This innovative group also e-mailed memos and even promoted the Seal via their “on hold” message on their phones!

As you can see, there are myriad ways to spread the message about MSQ, and we are very pleased and appreciative to see how chains are taking the lead in devising new and creative ways to inform their customers about us. 

With over 30,000 supermarkets across the U.S. alone, a goal of having our program accepted by all chains represented by these stores is indeed ambitious and will take time, but thanks to our savvy retail partners, we are slowly gaining ground!


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