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ShopRite and Unilever are running another "Seed What's Happening" campaign this year, spotlighting the benefits of urban farming and healthy eating as well as the manufacturer's new organic, plant-based line of snacks exclusive to the grocer. 

Similar to last year, the core of the effort is a "Seed What's Happening" sweepstakes awarding one winner with a $5,000 store gift card and five other winners with a $250 gift card. Consumers enter from April 1 through Aug. 31 by taking a nutrition-themed test and providing their information on a co-branded website (seedwhatshappening.com). Melville, NY-based Don Jagoda Associates handles.

The test's questions and answers serve to spotlight how Unilever products from Lipton, Knorr, and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! can fit in to a healthy lifestyle, and to tout the partners’ commitment to increasing access to fresh food and educating families on affordable ways to incorporate fresh vegetables into meals. The website also contained: 

  • instructions on how to prepare lemon chicken with barley using new Knorr "One Skillet Meals" starter packs.
  • information on how the Stone Barn Center for Food and Agriculture nonprofit farm and educational center is helping train teachers on agriculture and nutritious food preparation.
  • a video and photos of the Bay View Houses, a ShopRite- and Unilever-sponsored urban farm maintained by young public housing residents in Brooklyn, NY.

A feature in the retailer's May 25/27 circular touted the sweeps and initiative, promising Price Plus loyalty cardholders $5 off a $15 purchase of Unilever frozen SKUs. In-store signs also support, a Unilever spokesperson told the Institute. (It is unclear if account-specific pallet displays will spotlight the initiative this summer as they did last year.)

Unilever and ShopRite also turned to Irvington, New York-based Ripple Street (formerly House Party) to enlist consumers — or "ChatterBoxes" — willing to chat about their experience, share their opinions and post a review of the Knorr One Skillet Meals lemon chicken with barley starter pack. If selected as a Chatterbox, participants receive a Chat Box comprising: 

  • a pack of Knorr One Skillet Meals lemon chicken with barley,
  • a $15 ShopRite gift card to purchase ingredients such as carrots, spinach and chicken, and
  • a fact sheet on the Seed What’s Happening program and Knorr lemon chicken with barley recipe.

Growing Roots

Unilever is also giving ShopRite an exclusive launch window for its new line of organic corn and seed clusters, and coconut and seed bites. Dubbed Growing Roots, the line rolled out exclusively to ShopRite stores in March 2018 in four flavors: "Maple Bourbon," "Cocoa Chipotle," "Coconut Curry" and "Pineapple Coconut Rum." According to a media release, the SKUs will roll out to other retailers, including Amazon, throughout the year. 

"Growing Roots started as a Unilever social mission and community activity," a Unilever spokesperson told the Institute. "Inspired by the transformational impact we saw urban farms have in communities, we created the brand to fulfill and extend that mission. … Every purchase of Growing Roots snacks supports urban farming with 50% of all profits going to urban farming initiatives. In this way, Unilever is creating an ongoing source of funding."