Hess Select Wines Pair with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® in Cause Marketing Effort to Build Awareness and Support for Sustainable Seafood Choices

Hess Select Will Also Join Sponsors of Cooking for Solutions

NAPA, Calif.--()--The Hess Collection has paired the popular Hess Select tier of wines with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which works to educate consumers and businesses about sustainable seafood choices. The Hess effort will encourage consumers to pair Hess Select sustainable wines with sustainable seafood choices recommended by Seafood Watch.

Hess Select will also be a platinum sponsor of Cooking for Solutions, which annually recognizes and honors the sustainability efforts of top chefs in the premier fund-raising event for Seafood Watch. The 12th annual celebration of sustainable gourmet cuisine takes place May 17-19, 2013, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., and will bring together renowned chefs to share their passion for fine dining and environmentally sustainable living, all while providing leadership in promoting practices that protect the health of the ocean and soil.

“Seafood Watch is a natural extension of Donald Hess’ decades-long commitment to sustainability and giving back to our community,” explained Hess Chief Marketing Officer Derek Bromley. “We know consumers of Hess Select wines care about building a sustainable future, and Seafood Watch, with more than a million downloads of its mobile app and over 40 million pocket guides distributed, helps us connect and secure important, lasting relationships around a topic that is important to all of us: what we choose to put on the dinner table.”

Seafood Watch evolved from a 1997 Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibition, which led to an internal review of the Aquarium’s own seafood buying practices. As recommendations were created for internal guidance in purchasing seafood for the Aquarium’s restaurants and catering events, visitors began asking for copies of the list, and the pocket guide to sustainable choices was born.

Fisheries conservation has become one of the most important marine conservation issues today.

Fishing has had a profound impact on our oceans, according to Seafood Watch. From the program’s website: “Humans have been fishing the oceans for thousands of years. But over the past five decades technology has allowed us to fish farther, deeper and more efficiently than ever before. Scientists estimate that we have removed as much as 90 percent of the large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish and cod from the world's oceans. In 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission warned that the world's oceans are in a state of ’silent collapse,’ threatening our food supply, marine economies, recreation and the natural legacy we leave our children.”

Seafood Watch helps consumers and businesses make wise choices that directly impact the health of the oceans.

Seafood recommendations, updated continuously to reflect ongoing research, place seafood in one of three categories ─ Best Choices, Good Alternatives or Avoid. Even as consumers embrace the program, restaurants and other businesses nationwide have also signed on to follow the recommendations of Seafood Watch, among them, Hess Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson.

The multi-year collaboration with Seafood Watch will be supported in a variety of ways, said Bromley. For retailers, a promotional sweepstakes for consumers, where legal, will run from February to April 2013, with winners enjoying a three-day/two night trip to Monterey, with a behind the scenes Monterey Bay Aquarium experience, dinner, and golf or spa experience. The sweepstakes will provide travel and accommodations at the Portola Hotel & Spa in the heart of Monterey near the Aquarium.

Trade advertising, in-store materials such as coupon neckers with special offers, case cards, sell sheets, case talkers, and training and educational support materials, along with staff incentives, are part of effort. Consumer and trade events, with supporting public relations and social media outreach are planned. On-premise efforts include check inserts, table tents, coasters, staff training cards and menu templates.

A new Hess Select website (www.hess-select.com) will launch in January 2013, linking to Seafood Watch and the free downloadable app, along with the pocket guide. QR-codes on advertising and select materials will link directly to the Seafood Watch app and additional information.

The “Next Generation” of Hess Select Wines are now being introduced to the marketplace, featuring new wines and new trade dress. Joining the popular Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are entries in dynamic categories, including a Central Coast Pinot Noir, a Malbec from the Hess Family estate vineyards in Argentina, and Treo, a red blend based on Merlot, Syrah and Petite Sirah.

The Hess Select wines share a common philosophy, said Bromley. “These wines offer vibrant flavor and balance, with true varietal character and impressive value at their price levels,” he said. New packaging features distinctive by varietal color schemes updated to appeal, says Bromley, to both younger consumers and traditional Hess Select drinkers, even as the wines retain their sourcing and flavor profiles.

The Hess Select tier ranges from $12-20 at retail, with the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon consistently ranking among the Top 10 in their respective price categories.

The new Seafood Watch partnership is being introduced to Hess Select distributor partners nationwide beginning in January. For additional market-based information, contact local Hess distributors.

For digital assets, contact Jim Caudill, jcaudill@hesscollection.com

For Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch contact Alison Barrat, abarratt@mbayaq.org or (831) 647-6856

Hess Family Estates produces terroir driven wines on four continents, and includes the wines of The Hess Collection on Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley; Artezin from California’s North Coast; Sequana, highlighting Sonoma’s Russian River Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands of the Central Coast; MacPhail Family Wines, with Pinot Noir expressions from California and Oregon’s greatest growing regions; Peter Lehmann wines from Australia’s Barossa Valley; Colomé and Amalaya from the Salta Province of Argentina; and Glen Carlou from Paarl, South Africa.

Contacts

The Hess Collection
Jim Caudill, 707-265-3489
mobile: 707-299-0796
JCaudill@HessCollection.com

Hess Select Waitstaff Training Cards (Photo: Business Wire)

Hess Select Waitstaff Training Cards (Photo: Business Wire)

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Release Summary

Hess Select Wines Have Paired with Seafood Watch and Cooking for Solutions to Build Awareness of Sustainable Seafood Choices

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Contacts

The Hess Collection
Jim Caudill, 707-265-3489
mobile: 707-299-0796
JCaudill@HessCollection.com