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I attended a fantastic panel at Untied FreshMKT in Chicago last week.

amy simeri mcclellan martins super marketsAmy Simeri McClellan, vice president of South Bend, Indiana-based Martin’s Super Markets told us about some great innovative ways Martin’s works with produce, particularly with social media.

Produce is a powerful tool for engaging and delighting consumers she said. Martin’s often uses social media to do 1-day sales and promotions.

“Our produce director Ed Osowski works closely with grower shipper partners,” she said. “We can feature something that’s available on the market, but maybe doesn’t have enough lead time to get it on ad. It creates a lot of excitement and is a great way to give value to our customers.”

McClellan also told the panel about a promotion Osowski and a local corn grower put together last summer.

“Earlier, he recognized that one of our key corn suppliers was going to struggle to get corn planted,” she said. “We invested with that grower to plant corn exclusively for our stores, and we turned it into a media campaign with videos of the corn growing over time.”

Martin’s and farmer Dale Yoder worked together to produce five episodes, each lasting approximately one minute, to promote the exclusive deal.

Videos showed planting, nurturing, harvesting, transportation from field to store, and corn promotions in-store.  

“We were able to promote it as our very own corn grown in your back yard,” she said. “We got a lot of buzz from this topic, and then used in-store signage to further identify our own corn.”

Osowski, featured in videos four and five, tells a great story about the connection of Martin's Super Markets founder Martin Tarnow. 

"Seventy years ago, Martin used to grown his own sweet corn," Osowski said. "Today we're continuing that tradition. We want the consumer to have it fresh, and experience that flavor of real sweet corn. Sweet corn is the absolute perfect summer item." 

Take a look at the five video spots from the promotion, from Martin's YouTube channel. 

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