Renfro FoodsDate: 11/01/10 | Source: Specialty Food Magazine | Author: Vanessa L. Facenda
Categories: Industry Operations; Suppliers
As a company that got its start selling goods to local merchants in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, Renfro Foods knows the importance of giving back to the community. The company, which was founded by George Renfro in 1940 and is still family owned and operated, has been a long-time supporter of the local food bank in Tarrant County, and each family member sits on various charity boards. But the Renfros wanted to do more.
In 2006, the owners of the condiments company—known primarily for its Mrs. Renfro’s brand of salsas, sauces and relishes—decided to implement a national charitable-giving program. “During a meeting with top brokers to discuss charitable giving, the subject of cancer came up. Everyone in the room knew someone afflicted with breast cancer,” says Becky Renfro Borbolla, vice president. “Since we were all personally touched by cancer, we knew this was the cause we wanted to support.”
The Pink Lid Campaign refits 500,000 jars of Mrs. Renfro’s top-selling salsas with pink lids and pink labels. The salsas hit retail shelves in advance of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The company launched its Pink Lid Campaign in 2007. Renfro Foods refitted 500,000 jars of its top-selling salsas—Mango Habanero, Green, Black Bean, Raspberry Chipotle, Habanero and Peach—with pink lids and pink labels. The salsas hit retail shelves in advance of Breast Cancer Awareness month, which takes place annually in October. Proceeds from the initial sales went to Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Tarrant County Komen affiliate. Formerly known as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the organization has raised more than $1.5 billion for research, education and health services since its inception in 1982, making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world.
Since then, Renfro Foods has added other recipients to its Pink Lid endeavor. These include Houston-based M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s leading cancer treatment and research centers, and Cook Children’s Medical Center’s Lymphoma-Leukemia Program, a Fort Worth-based hospital that serves 110 counties in both North and West Texas.
In 2010, Renfro Foods added three more salsas to the campaign—Tequila, Pomegranate and Pineapple—bringing the total to nine. The company is also expanding its charitable giving to international institutions: The newest recipient is the Canadian Cancer Society, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. It is a national community-based organization of volunteers aimed at eradicating cancer and enhancing the quality of life for people living with the disease.
To date, Renfro Foods has donated $50,000 to cancer research through its charitable-giving program. Each year, the company refits 500,000 jars of its top-selling salsas for its Pink Lid campaign. The specially designed jars hit retail stores around September 1 and stay on shelves approximately six to eight weeks. “The goal is to be on shelves through November, but we can’t control the rotation and it also depends on how fast movement is,” says Renfro Borbolla.
Pink Lid Campaign salsas are available to all retailers in the U.S. and Canada. “The campaign has mainly targeted grocery chains, but now fruit and produce markets want the products as well,” says Renfro Borbolla. Pink Lid salsas can be found in specialty stores such as Dean & Deluca, Sprouts, HEB Central Market and United’s Market Street, as well as supermarket chains such as Whole Foods Market, Albertson’s, Wegmans, Stater Bros., Safeway and Kroger.
The price points for the Pink Lid salsas remain the same as regular Mrs. Renfro salsas, between $3.50 and $4.50, depending upon the retailer. Renfro Borbolla noted that some retailers discount the items as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month promotions. Many retailers also add their own promotional dollars to further awareness for the cause, she notes.
Renfro Foods plans to not only continue, but to expand its support of cancer research. Renfro Borbolla said the company reviews potential organizations each year to add to its list of recipients and could possibly increase the number of salsas that are featured in the campaign. This year, the Mrs. Renfro brand added Ghost Pepper Salsa, which uses the Bhut Jolokia pepper, the world's hottest chile pepper. “If the Ghost Pepper Salsa sells as well as we expect it to, it may be added to our Pink Lid Campaign next year,” she says.—Vanessa L. Facenda
To view all of the companies featured in the November/December 2010 Specialty Food Magazine dedicated to companies that give back, click on the following link: Three Companies that Give.
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