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Watermelon Board Announces Winners of Retail Merchandising Contest

The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB), has named winners in its annual Retail Merchandising Contest which garnered over 115 entries from various retail chains, independent retailers and commissaries throughout the U.S. and Canada. This year’s contest – the 15th since its’ inception – continued to utilize mixed media marketing efforts in addition to in-store displays. The contest started in July to honor National Watermelon Month and ran throughout the month of August to encourage and identify retailers who are showcasing watermelon’s benefits including health, value and versatility.

Marketing efforts considered in judging included category visibility, point-of-sale materials, good visual merchandising, messaging nutritional benefits, recipes and/or selection education and use of print, online and/or digital platforms. This year’s winners used mixed marketing tactics ranging from eye-catching in-store displays and take-home materials for store customers to social posts that shared watermelon nutrition, fun facts and recipe ideas.

This year’s winners included:

Grand Prize: Heritage Co-Op – Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

Second Place: Greer’s Hurley Market – Hurley, MS

Third Place: KJ’s Market – Hephziba, GA

Grand Prize-winning display – Heritage Co-Op – Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

Honorable Mentions: Gelson’s Market #23 – La Canada, CA; Port Hueneme Commissary – Port Hueneme, CA; United Grocery Outlet– Shelbyville, TN

“This year’s entries were all incredibly creative, showcasing watermelon’s health and versatility through point-of-sale materials,” said Juliemar Rosado, Director of Retail and International Marketing at NWPB. “The winners this year emphasized consumer education, highlighting selection and recipes. In addition, whole and fresh cut watermelons were merchandised to reach more consumer archetypes.”

“Members of the Co-operative Retailing System have participated in the NWPB contest for many years, and we are excited that Heritage Co-op in Brandon Manitoba is a recipient of the Grand Prize this year,” said Joshua Hubert, Produce Retail Operations Manager at Federated Co-operatives Limited. “Each year, FCL and its Member Co-ops highlight watermelon through flyer and in-store features, and we encourage participation in the NWPB contest each year. We recognize that exciting and engaging displays continue to delight guests and drive in store experience. The NWPB display contest is an excellent opportunity for CRS Members to highlight their merchandising skills and highlight our focus on seasonal produce favorites. We are so proud of the Heritage Co-op team and their display, a big congratulations to them!”

More than $10,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to winners, including $5,000 for Heritage Co-Op as the grand prize winner. As second place winner, Greer’s Hurley Market will receive $2,500; KJ’s Market as third place will receive $1,000 and each of the three honorable mentions listed above will receive $500.

Second Place Winner – Greer’s Hurley Market – Hurley, MS
Third Place winner – KJ’s Market – Hephziba, GA
Honorable Mention – Port Hueneme Commissary – Port Hueneme, CA

About National Watermelon Promotion Board

The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB), based in Winter Springs, Florida, was established in 1989 as an agricultural promotion group to promote watermelon in the United States and in various markets abroad. Funded through a self-mandated industry assessment paid by more than 700 watermelon producers, handlers and importers, NWPB mission is to increase consumer demand for watermelon through promotion, research and education programs.

A serving of nutrient-dense watermelon provides an excellent source of Vitamin C (25% DV), a source of Vitamin B6 (8% DV), and a delicious way to stay hydrated (92% water), with only 80 calories per 2-cup serving. Watermelon consumption per capita in the United States was nearly 15.5 pounds in 2022. Watermelon consumption in the United States was nearly 5.2 billion pounds in 2022. The United States exported an additional 328 million pounds of watermelon. For additional information, visit www.watermelon.org.

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