(Dec. 24, WEB EXCLUSIVE) The California Avocado Commission, Irvine, has announced the winners of its seasonal display contest.

Conducted from May 12 through Sept. 30, the contest received more than 260 entries from produce managers across the country, according to a news release.

Entries were judged on four criteria: use of the commission’s “Hand Grown in California” point-of-sales materials, use of ripe California avocados, overall creativity and the size of the display.

“Retailers appreciate the value of the campaign messages and the Hand Grown in California thematic,” vice president of marketing Jan DeLyser said in the release. “We had unprecedented retailer requests for display and point-of-sale materials for the 2008 California avocado season.”

All qualified entrants received gift cards, with prizes going to the top 15 displays.

Luis Alcantor, who works at an Albertson’s in Southern California, won the grand prize in a random drawing of qualified entrants, and received a 16 GB Apple iPod Touch.

Four retail chains had multiple contest winners, with seven from Albertson’s, Boise, Idaho; four from Food Town, Houston; and two from PW Markets, San Jose, Calif.