Winn-Dixie and Foy’s promotion to benefit Phenix City education, youth programs


Looking Back: Winn-Dixie and Foy’s promotion benefits Phenix City education, youth programs

Grocer’s foundation will donate sales of locally produced barbecue sauce through March 20.
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Grocer’s foundation will donate sales of locally produced barbecue sauce through March 20.

Fans of Foy’s Bar-B-Q Sauce who frequent the newly remodeled Winn-Dixie supermarket in the Ladonia area of Phenix City can now enjoy the flavorful product while also getting a taste of community involvement.

The supermarket’s parent company, Southeastern Grocers, rolled out the effort, which blends philanthropy with a bit of marketing, during a brief gathering Wednesday at the 3952 U.S. Highway 80 store.

The essence of the promotion, which runs through March 20, is that the Winn-Dixie Foundation will contribute dollar for dollar the money spent on Foy’s sauce to support Phenix City education and youth programs. Another element of the effort is that customers can buy a 32-ounce jar of Foy’s Bar-B-Q Sauce for $1 if they also make a purchase of at least $10 at the supermarket.

“Our customers and associates in Phenix City are thrilled with our newly remodeled store and we are pleased to continue our support and investment in this area, especially with this donation program that will make a real difference for our youth,” Drew Elkins, regional vice president with Winn-Dixie, said in a statement.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based supermarket chain is now making a concerted effort to promote and display in prominent areas of its stores those food products that have been manufactured in their surrounding regions.

In the case of Foy’s, it is bottled by D&D Foods of Columbus, which has a facility on Fourth Avenue that makes the signature mustard- and vinegar-based barbecue sauce, along with other sauces and marinades. D&D, launched in 1990, also is capable of packing products for other companies.

Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe, who attended Wednesday’s event, applauded the community-oriented promotion and all parties involved. Winn-Dixie said it plans to search for ways to continuously provide such civic support long term.

“We are proud to join together with Winn-Dixie and Foy’s Bar-B-Q Sauce to inspire youth and support education in Phenix City,” Lowe said.

Southeastern Grocers spent about $1 million on the remodel of the 15-year-old Phenix City store. The fresh look and mindset comes with Wal-Mart recently opening a Neighborhood Market nearby, situated between the Winn-Dixie itself and a Piggly-Wiggly store that has been in the area for many years.

The push to improve itself is so great that Southeastern Grocers President and Chief Executive Officer Ian McLeod ventured to the Phenix City store in early January for a grand unveiling of the remodeling. He touted a new “Down Home” campaign introducing lower prices on more than 400 items — from bread and juice to chicken and cheese — bought often by Winn-Dixie shoppers.

The CEO said the Phenix City supermarket is a prototype for a refresh program that could involve at least 50 of the chain’s stores over the coming year. The strategy includes stocking and putting emphasis on locally produced products whenever possible. “Supporting local,” he called it. For instance, aside from Foy’s sauce, Milo’s tea, made in Bessemer, Ala., has been given better display space for visibility and increased quantities.

“We’re selling four times more now than we were selling before just by featuring it more effectively for the customers,” McLeod said during a tour of the grocery store. “It’s here because it’s a local product and we’re going to have it at a good price. Thus, the customer is going to benefit from seeing something they might want to pick up.”