Monday, April 19, 2010

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Joins Kroger Co. in Holding Earth Month-Earth Day Reusable Bag Design Contest

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

The old saying above came to mind earlier today when we discovered Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is launching a Design-A-Bag contest, beginning on April 19, and running until May 31.

The Design-A-Bag contest, which is timed to tie-in with Earth Month (April) and Earth Day(April 22), works this way: Shoppers design a reusable grocery shopping bag for Fresh & Easy as explained here. The chief criteria is the designer's own creativity. Participants then submit their reusable bag design to Tesco's Fresh & Easy by May 31, 2010.

Members of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's "Friends of Fresh & Easy" e-mail group will vote on the finalists, which will be chosen by a panel of judges that's been selected by Fresh & Easy. There will be up to ten finalists, according to Fresh & Easy. The one receiving the most votes from the "Friends of Fresh & Easy" will bag the first place title.

The winning reusable bag will be offered for sale in all the Fresh & Easy stores.

Lastly (but far from least), the winning reusable bag designer will receive free groceries from Fresh & Easy for a year, in the form of $5,000 worth of the grocer's gift cards. The semi-finalists, those chosen by the judging panel but not named the winner by the "Friends of Fresh & Easy" folks, will each get a $100 Fresh & Easy neighborhood Market gift card.

[The full details of Fresh & Easy's bag design contest are here. Sign-up information is here.]

Now for the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" part.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market competitor Kroger Co. - which operates the Ralphs and Food 4 Less chains in Southern and Central California; Fry's in Arizona; and Smith's Food & Drug in Nevada (the three states where Tesco has its Fresh & Easy stores) - has been conducting a shopper 'Design a Reusable Bag' contest for the last three years.

In fact, we wrote about Kroger Co.'s reusable bag design contest last year in Fresh & Easy Buzz. [Story link - May 1, 2010: Competitor News: Kroger Co. Launches Chainwide 'Design Your Own Bag' Contest Promotion; Invites Shoppers to Be 'Part of the Solution']

Kroger's 2010 contest began on April 12, and runs until May 21, at the chains listed above, along with all of its other U.S. banners
The retailer provides this section and complete template and tools on its website for consumers to use in designing their reusable shopping bags.
The winning reusable bag designer gets a $1,000 gift card. In addition, Kroger will sell the winning bag in its stores.

Along with the first place prize, Kroger Co. awards the top four bag design contest finalists a $250 Kroger gift card. Additionally, the five runners-up will receive a $100 Kroger gift card.

All contest participants receive a free electronic coupon for 99 cents, which they can use at any Kroger-owned store to obtain a free reusable shopping bag.

[Full information on how to participate in Kroger's reusable bag design contest is here.]

Tesco's Fresh & Easy has upped the first-place prize money on Kroger however - $5,000 from Fresh & Easy, compared to $1,000 offered by Kroger Co.

Fresh & Easy Buzz is a proponent of increased consumer usage of reusable shopping bags as a way to decrease the use of single-use plastic and paper grocery bags at retail.

Contests like Kroger's - and now Fresh & Easy's - serve to create greater awareness of the issue of single-use bags and their environmental negatives, and hopefully lead to higher shopper usage of reusable bags.

And when it comes to programs by grocers designed to reduce their respective carbon footprints and improve the environment, imitation is not only the sincerest form of flattery, it also can have power in numbers.

Pictured above is the first-place winning design in Kroger's 2009 bag design contest. The bag was designed by Sherri N of Columbus, Ohio. Click here to view the first place bag, along with the four finalists and five runners-up in last year's contest

[Readers: Click here for a complete selection of posts on the reusable shopping bag topic and issue from Fresh & Easy Buzz.]

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