GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In an effort to spread awareness about the abundance of food products made in Michigan, and to help stimulate the state's economy, Michigan-based Spartan Stores announced that it has kicked off its expanded "Michigan's Best" campaign in its 97 D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare, Glen's Markets and VG's, as well as 250 independent grocery stores.
According to the company, more than 3,000 Michigan-made products will carry the eye-catching Michigan's Best label to help consumers quickly identify Michigan-made products.
The Michigan's Best program was created in 2009 as a means to pay tribute to Michigan farmers and businesses and help residents identify Michigan-made products. The initial campaign promoted 2,400 products grown and was produced by 42 businesses and farms in Michigan.
According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, if consumers spent just $10 a week on Michigan products, it would keep more than $40 million working for Michigan every week.
"We have been delighted at consumer response of our Michigan's Best campaign, which affords consumers the ability to support our state economy," Spartan Stores EVP merchandising and marketing Alan Hartline said. "The Michigan's Best program supports our state, our farmers, our manufacturers, our neighbors and our families simply by choosing Michigan-made products. Buying local helps keep Michigan residents employed. It also benefits communities by boosting the local and state economy by creating more jobs. Plus, buying local fresh fruits and vegetables picked within hours of being on the shelf is a healthier option. Local products also have lower food miles, meaning they are shipped shorter distances, which requires less gas and is better for the environment."
Items available in the program include fruit, vegetables, cereal, coffee, dairy, meat, juice, beer, wine and baked goods.
To further promote the program, Spartan Stores has launched the Shopmichigansbest.com website. A complete list of products, as well as Michigan-based farms and companies, are listed on the website. Spartan Stores said it also plans to host a number of in-store promotions, including signage, weekly specials featuring Michigan-made products and a children's coloring contest.