New businesses or established food companies looking to launch a new food product or pursue additional retail opportunities will have the chance to compete for a year's worth of free shelf space from Westborn Market. In conjunction with the Michigan State University Product Center, Westborn Market will again host and judge "The Next SKU Could Be You" Product Placement Competition at the sixth annual Making It in Michigan trade show.
Representatives from Westborn Market will judge and pick three winners from the Product Center clients and vendors exhibiting products at the trade show for placement in the "Michigan Made" sections of their three stores in Berkley, Dearborn and Livonia.
Judging criteria are:
• Good quality and a distinctive flavor.
• Attractive packaging and convenience for consumer use.
• Well-defined competitive advantage -- for example designed for a special kind of consumer, featured health benefits.
• Ability to exhibit retail and market readiness along with a sound business proposition for the consumer and the grocer.
"We're excited to be judging the competition again for the third year," says Bryan Bandyk, marketing director for Westborn Market. "It's a great opportunity for all of our grocery managers and buyers to get to see a lot of unique products in one space, and, as a company, it is an extension of our 50-year commitment to support Michigan-made products."
Product Center Director Chris Peterson agrees, "We're very pleased that Westborn Market is sponsoring the competition again. This is a great opportunity for our vendors and clients, especially those with limited distribution or very new products, because they can compete for a year of guaranteed shelf space at a grocery store."
The Making It in Michigan conference and trade show is set for 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 12 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. The Marketplace trade show in the afternoon will feature more than 150 new and established businesses showcasing their food products to the Michigan Grocers Association, buyers and conference attendees, who can taste and purchase items. Admission to the trade show is free to the general public, who can also sample and buy.
More information on the competition and registration for the trade show is available online.