YouTube video features surprise performance at Minn. Byerly's grocery store

10:52 AM, Apr 3, 2010   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -  It was an April Fools' Day stunt to remember at the Golden Valley Byerly's grocery store Thursday when a group of University of Minnesota student actors broke out in song at the checkout counter.

Not quite a flash mob, the event was the dream of Lunds and Byerly's Director of Marketing Greg Mack. 

The "Mealtime Hero" performance took place near the store's service area and was planned to entertain and motivate shoppers to get excited about "what to make for dinner."

"We were just walking and we heard it," young shopper Jillian said of the sounds she heard coming from the front of the store just after one Thursday afternoon.

What Jillian heard was music, soft at first, but growing louder.
And Jillian wasn't alone.  Dozens of shoppers heard the same thing and began walking towards the sounds and the commotion.

"It was just a big shock, especially when they just turned around singing and dancing," said Byerly's cashier James.

The most buttoned up grocery chain in town, Byerly's, was hosting an impromptu musical.  It was a full ensemble of musical talent performing a skit in the middle of the store, and not one person was told in advance. 

Mack said the chain wanted to do something new and fresh to continue to put the spotlight on the first Byerly's store, now remodeled, in Golden Valley. 

"We wanted to do something completely unheard of," Mack said.

Mission accomplished.

The idea came from YouTube.  The premise was to shock the mid- afternoon shopper into excitement with an outburst of dance and song about food.  And it seemed to work. 

With a cast of U of M fine arts students, the director was giddy to have her stage debut wedged between the self checkout and artisan cheese.

"Something that I have hoped for a long time I'd get to be a part of," joked director Kristen Kenning.

(Note:  KARE 11's creative services department assisted in the video production for Lunds and Byerly's).

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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