Monday, June 7, 2010

'Bigmista' Hits the Stores in Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets' Free Barbeque Road Show

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is taking its free summer barbeque road show to three stores in the next two weeks, one each in California's Central Valley, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona, following its first store-level event on June 4 at its Fresh & Easy grocery market in Los Angeles' Glassell Park neighborhood, at 4211 Eagle Rock Boulevard. [See a selection of photos from that event here.]

See our June 3 story: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Teams Up With The Los Angeles Dodgers in 'Game & Grill Sweepstakes' Promo

At the event's, Bigmista's Barbeque, which is owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Neil and Phyllis Strawder, grills an assortment of beef, chicken, sausage and at times other meat items for customers, all for free. Various fresh & easy store brand side dish items are also served with the grilled meats.

Here's what's on tap and where it's happening:

>Fresh & Easy, Shaw & Willow, Clovis, California. Date: Friday, June 18, 2010, 5-7 p.m. Address: 790 West Shaw Avenue, Clovis, CA

>Fresh & Easy, Fort Apache & Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nevada. Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 4-6 p.m. Address: 9475 W. Desert Inn Road, Las Vegas, NV

>Fresh & Easy, West Indian School & 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona. Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010, 4-6 p.m. Address: 635 West Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

During the time periods listed above at each store - as supplies last - Grill Master Neil 'Bigmista' Strawder serves up free barbeque to all comers.

Strawder has gained a reputation in Southern California as the "go to guy" for barbeque - be it ribs, chicken or brisket. In addition to doing events for Tesco's Fresh & Easy, Bigmista and his wife and partner Phyllis also do serious barbeque business at Southern California farmers markets, operate a food truck and do catering. The couple's website is here.

The free summer barbeque road show is a way for Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to promote its 14 varieties of "grill packs," which are packaged fresh meat items featuring various meats, including combinations like its chicken, pork sausage and quarter-pound beef patty combo pack.

The grocery chain also introduced eight new value-added grill pack items right before the beginning of the Memorial Day grilling season. It's currently promoting those items, along with the other grill packs, in its stores. [May 16, 2010: Two Grocers, Fresh & Easy and Raley's Offer Two Very Different Approaches to Ready-to-Grill Fresh Meat Merchandising]

Additionally, Fresh & Easy has launched a summer grilling season sweepstakes promotion with the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, which ties into its store-level free barbeque road show. [Read our story on the promotion - June 3, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Teams Up With The Los Angeles Dodgers in 'Game & Grill Sweepstakes' Promo.]

Interesting, the tie-in conclusion is our reporting, not from Fresh & Easy. The grocer hasn't tied the two events into a marketing message, nor publicized it as such, despite the fact it's an excellent summer promotional event waiting for a marketing person at the grocery chain to put some effort into. It would be a real missed opportunity not to combine the related events and promote them comprehensively in order to create real excitement (and incremental sales) and get all the bang for the buck out of the promotional expenditures as possible, in our analysis and opinion. Perhaps it's coming?

Meanwhile, who doesn't love free barbeque? The answer: Hardly anyone - although vegans might like some grilled veggies to be available. Therefore, we suggest 'Bigmista' stock up for his road show next week, and get a little rest before it starts.

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