Safeway & Open Nature Name Portland Oregon “America’s Most Natural City”

To celebrate all things natural, Pleasanton, California – based grocer Safeway aimed to add a much-needed cash infusion into America’s parks and recreation organizations by rallying the public to vote in its “America’s Most Natural City” Facebook contest. Based on Portland’s natural attractions, from its green spaces to its outdoor activities, voters named it “America’s Most Natural City.” As a result, Portland will receive a donation of $20,000 and 25 picnic tables constructed from the Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Longest Picnic Table. The contest was a part of the launch of Safeways 100% natural products Private Brand Open Nature.

“As with our Open Nature all-natural product line, we looked to our customers to define which cities they considered the most natural,” said Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway. “We wanted to make a positive impact and give back to the parks and recreation organizations. Many of them provide everything from playgrounds to picnic spots and it was clear that voters shared our passion for preservation of all things natural. We hope that our contest inspires others to give back to their communities in this time of reduced budgets.”

With a strong wave of local support, Portland secured 1,189 votes, and won the contest. Coming in second and third were Denver and Seattle, respectively, both of which had tremendous community support for the contest. In addition to the monetary donation, Portland will receive 25 picnic tables created from the Guinness World Record holder of the World’s Longest Picnic Table (at 305 feet) which debuted at a recent Safeway event in San Francisco. Bolstering the contest’s appeal, one lucky voter was randomly selected to win a year’s supply of Open Nature foods, all of which are free from artificial ingredients — no artificial flavors, sweeteners, additives, or preservatives.

“We applaud Safeway for their charitable giving. Portland Parks & Recreation welcomes the generous donation, which will go toward the city’s E-205 Initiative to enhance nature trails and build park amenities such as children’s playgrounds in the East Portland area,” says Nick Fish, Portland parks commissioner. “These improvements will make a huge impact in historically underserved East Portland.”

About the Contest
Launched on August 30, “America’s Most Natural City” contest encouraged Facebook users to vote for one of 15 pre-selected cities where Safeway and its family of stores have a significant presence in the community. Over the course of the contest, thousands of votes were cast for the cities of Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson and Washington, D.C.

For more information on the contest, visit

Previous articleKrogers Private Brands “Giving Hope A Hand”
Next articleBath and Body Works Redesigns Japanese Cherry Blossom
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.