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Food fete: the Phillips Cos. of Bentonville honored for promoting Arkansas.

It's not exactly the America's Cup.

It's not even the Stanley Cup.

But to Kirk Dupps and the Phillips Cos., the Governor's Cup couldn't be more prestigious if it were made of gold.

The Governor's Cup is awarded each year by the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission to the retailer that best promotes Arkansas products in conjunction with the AIDC's "Good Work, Arkansas" program.

Dupps, chief executive officer of the Bentonville-based grocery chain, accepted the Governor's Cup last month from Lt. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker at the state Capitol.

"Good Work, Arkansas" is designed to draw attention to products produced in the state. Advertisements are run by retailers to promote Arkansas products and displays are placed in stores.

The retailers are, in turn, recognized by the AIDC.

"This is a way of rewarding their work in the merchandising of Arkansas products," says Steve Cochran, the AIDC's national marketing manager.

The program reflects the interest of Arkansas consumers in purchasing Arkansas products, according to Cochran.

"We've found that Arkansans want to know what's made in the state," he says, pointing to a recent poll that said 85 percent of the state's residents favor local products over nationally produced items. "The challenge for us is to educate the consumers as to what's out there."

Catering To Consumers

"The biggest benefit is not to the stores, it's the awareness the consumer has for the products," says Dupps, whose company operates Food-4-Less stores and Phillips Food Centers in Arkansas.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville purchased the Phillips Cos. in October.

A Food-4-Less outlet at Fort Smith won the Arkansas Products Display Contest, finishing first in the category for grocers with 10 or more stores. Phillips' northern district manager, Carl Simpson, accepted the award, a vacation package at Gaston's White River Resort at Lakeview.

The award for grocers with less than 10 stores went to Northside Food Center at Mena, with Tucker presenting a certificate for a vacation package from Best Western Inn of the Ozarks at Eureka Springs to Don Grubbs.

"I feel particularly good about |the Governor's Cup~ because our staff has worked real hard for the past five years with this program," Dupps says. "They take a great deal of pride in promoting Arkansas products."
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Title Annotation:Across Arkansas: Northwest
Author:Taylor, Tim
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jul 20, 1992
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