(May 9) WATSONVILLE, Calif. — California Giant Inc. is greeting the spring strawberry season with newly designed boxes and a cross-promotion designed to help consumers greet their mornings.

The strawberry company began a cross-promotion with Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., March 1 that features ads for Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries cereal on California Giant’s 1-pound and 2-pound clamshells.

Kellogg’s is heavily promoting its Special K Red Berries cereal this spring with print and television ads that prominently feature strawberries. The goal of the cross-promotion is to tie in fresh strawberries with the berry cereal and increase sales of both products.

“This is a great cross-promotional opportunity,” said Michael Leach, vice president of sales and marketing for California Giant. “It’s a nationwide program that will last all season. Their commercials have strawberries in them, so this is a great way to promote both products.”

SPECIAL LABELS

The promotional labels carry California Giant’s traditional logo, its ProSafe Certified food safety seal and the strawberry company’s slogan, “The West’s Premium Berries.” In addition, the promotional labels include a red rectangle with a picture of a box of Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries cereal and the words “In the cereal aisle” to remind consumers to pick up a box of the cereal.

Some retailers are displaying strawberries and the Special K Red Berries cereal together, which further boosts the effectiveness of the cross-promotion, Leach said. Pairing itself with such a large and well-known company as Kellogg’s adds power to the California Giant brand name, Leach said.

Pat Riordan, a partner in California Giant, said that in its first two months the promotion has pleased Kellogg’s, California Giant and participating retailers.

“We’ve talked to all the major players, and everybody likes the promotion. They’re interested in seeing how it will go for the rest of the season,” Riordan said. “So far, we’re happy, Kellogg’s is happy, and the retailers are happy.”

DISPLAY-READY BOXES

The promotion with Kellogg’s isn’t all that’s new for California Giant this season. The company also worked with Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wash., to redesign its corrugated containers to make the display-ready boxes brighter, more colorful and more attractive using preprinting.

The box design was applied to both flats and half-flats for retail. Besides boldly emblazoning the California Giant name on the boxes, the company also added a huge picture of a strawberry.

“The new boxes have a great billboard effect,” Leach said. “They really draw the eye. They’re great for merchandising at retail. The big berry gives you a great visual.”