Grocer, Hollywood Studio Co-Market Movie

ATLANTA Winn-Dixie has teamed with Twentieth Century Fox to promote the upcoming movie, Because of Winn-Dixie, the company said.

The film, scheduled for release Feb. 18, is a screen adaptation of the award-winning children’s book of the same name. The story chronicles a girl who befriends several uncommon characters in her new home of Naomi, Fla., including a stray dog she finds at the local Winn-Dixie grocery and names after the store. The film stars Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Dave Matthews and Eva Marie Saint.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocery store chain developed a program that allows its customers to earn points with each purchase that can be redeemed for a free copy of the book, tickets to the movie and plush toy of the film’s canine star. Most of Winn-Dixie’s more than 1,000 stores are selling officially licensed merchandise from the movie, and the company plans to donate thousands of copies of the book to public libraries in the 12 states of its market area, mostly in the Southeast.

“This is such a beautiful story of friendship and community and we are proud to play a part in it,” said Joanne Gage, vice president of marketing and advertising for Winn-Dixie. “With the launch of the film, we want to take an active role in bringing this story to our shoppers and communities.”

Fox has given Winn-Dixie the right to use promotional images from the movie for in-store signage and displays.

“We’re always looking for organic promotional opportunities and this partnership with Winn-Dixie is a natural,” said Jeffrey Godsick, executive vice president of marketing at Fox.