Albertsons Cos.’s Jewel-Osco and Avocados from Mexico (AFM) tapped in to the excitement surrounding the National Football League's Super Bowl to boost sales of the retailer’s fresh-made guacamole by positioning it as a perfect “big game food.”

AFM provided 17 Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago market with custom refrigerated stations that enabled the retailer to prepare its guacamole directly in the produce section. Jewel-Osco held daily sampling events at these stations, where employees dressed in ponchos and sombreros mixed batches of guacamole as shoppers watched.

“What was important was that the customer could see the tomatoes, the onions, the avocados, being cut right in front of their faces,” produce merchandise and sales manager for Jewel-Osco Scott Bennett told the Institute.

185 stores without the stations also sampled guacamole.

Other support for the effort included roadside billboards deployed by the retailer with creative identical to signage appearing on the guacamole stations.

A Feb. 1 circular feature included a recipe for guacamole dip and depicted the AFM logo. Football-themed Facebook and Twitter updates, and radio spots during the week leading up to the Super Bowl LI game on Feb. 5 rounded out the promotion.

The partners began planning the campaign shortly after last year’s Super Bowl, Bennet said. Jewel-Osco has promoted its guacamole during football season for the past four years, and this was its second year collaborating with AFM on the seasonal push.

According to Bennett, fresh-made guacamole sales are up over 100% at select stores over the previous year, and avocados also are experiencing double-digit sales growth following the campaign. Jewel-Osco plans on adding guacamole stations to more stores in the future.

In related activity, additional dump bins from AFM deployed in the produce section plugged the manufacturer's annual “Guac Nation” football campaign, which this season ran from Dec. 19, 2016, to Feb. 5, and included a partnership with General Mills’ Old El Paso.

The bins cross-merchandised Hass avocados and Old El Paso SKUs and invited shoppers to “bring your flavor game” while directing them to, a web page run by AFM hosting game-day recipes incorporating avocados.