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Beef Checkoff announces winners of Second Annual National Retail Beef Backer Awards

The Beef Checkoff Program announced the winners of the second annual national Retail Beef Backer Awards program. Associated Food Stores, Adam's Hometown Markets and The Kroger Company were named for their commitment to outstanding beef marketing and merchandising programs. Presentations were made at the 2009 Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show in Phoenix, Ariz., on Jan. 31.

"The Retail Beef Backer Awards Program is one way beef producers can show their appreciation to retailers for the exceptional work they do to increase beef demand," said Jim Henger, executive director of channel marketing for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which contracts to manage retail programs for the beef checkoff. "We are excited to award this year's winners for their hard work and continual effort to keep beef on the plates of their customers."

The 2008 award winners are:

--Chain: Associated Food Stores (480 stores), based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

--Independent: Adam's Hometown Markets (9 stores), based in Cheshire, Connecticut.

--Innovator: The Kroger Company (2,400 stores), based in Cincinnati, Ohio, for their "Sealed for Freshness" innovative packaging program.

Retail Beef Backer Award winners are selected based on their excellent merchandising of beef at the meat case. A third-party judging panel also took into consideration the retailers' tie-ins with beef checkoff-funded programs such as Easy Fresh Cooking labels, Beef Training Camp, Summer Grilling promotions, the Beef Value Cuts program, on-pack nutrition labeling and Hispanic Marketing. Applicants are also judged on beef promotions independent of the beef checkoff that focus on increasing beef demand among their customers. Such programs include outstanding beef promotions, co-marketing promotions and customer education programs.

On the heels of the award presentation, retailers should consider applying for the 2009 Retail Beef Backer Awards. Supermarket retailers of all sizes and formats are encouraged to enter the contest, and anyone (other than an NCBA employee) can nominate a participating retailer to win an award. More information will be made available at www.BeefRetail.org in the spring.



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