Postponed NY Promotional Tour Resumes

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Organic food company Acirca Inc., which postponed a September mobile tour for its Walnut Acres organic products in New York, relaunched the tour this week.

Culminating with an appearance in conjunction with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 22, the "mobile chef's organic garden" is appearing at several festivals and events in New York in October and November.

An identical mobile tour in Seattle started Sept. 15 and will end Oct. 14. The Seattle tour includes visits to retail stores, such as Fred Meyer, along with festivals and events.

The New York sampling event, which had been scheduled to start in mid-September, was not appropriate after the terrorist attacks, said Michael Neuwirth, director of corporate communications at New Rochelle, NY-based Acirca.

"We're only resuming it now because we see people returning to normal ... daily life in New York City, outside the immediate area [of the World Trade Center]," Neuwirth said.

In fact, the timing works well for a soup sampling event, as the weather in New York gets cooler, he said.

Acirca aims to educate consumers about its Walnut Acres certified organic salsa and soup lines as well as convey the benefits of organic agriculture.

"Household penetration for organic foods and beverages isn't where it should be: It is less than 50 percent," Neuwirth said.

The "mobile chef's organic garden," built by SNAP Marketing, NY, includes a 12-foot greenhouse and 8-foot sampling kitchen converted from a 20-foot trailer. SNAP Marketing representatives will show visitors organic produce, provide samples and hand out "hundreds of thousands" of kits with the jars of the soups and salsas, Walnut Acres coupons and a "Guide to Certified Organic Foods and Beverages."

An "organic veggie brigade," people dressed up as vegetables, will accompany the mobile tour.

"There's a quirkiness to it [the mobile tour] that's, so far, appreciated by the folks of New York and Seattle. When people see organic foods in the context of what makes them unique, they get it," Neuwirth said.

Action Marketing Group, Boulder, CO, is assisting in the promotion.

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