SOURCE: W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

September 30, 2011 18:59 ET

Burpee Launches Contest to Promote 'Garden-Gating'; Major Push to Growing Legions of Women Sports Fans

WARMINSTER, PA--(Marketwire - Sep 30, 2011) - The nation's leading home gardening purveyor, W. Atlee Burpee & Co., is launching a one-month contest to help bring attention to Garden-Gating, a family-friendly, more healthful version of tailgating parties that are a football tradition.

"Women comprise a rapidly growing segment of football fans and participate in pregame revelry," says George Ball, chairman of Burpee. "Customers made us aware of the phenomenon, increasingly asking for tips on which vegetables and recipes are best suited for tailgating parties. We saw a trend."

"The Garden-Gating trend is a freight train moving full speed down the track," declares Mr. Ball. "It reflects the nation's growing desire for better health and nutrition and new-found passion for fresh, locally-grown foods."

Burpee is now sponsoring a national Garden-Gating contest, through the month of October, to encourage folks to share their backyard tailgating stories, recipes and photos. For contest information, visit: www.burpee.com/garden-gating

To encourage this wholesome new trend, the Bucks County, PA-based company has launched a series of Garden-Gating recipes on its website: www.burpee.com/garden-gating

"Tailgating has quickly evolved from the original stadium parking lot -- the beer-guzzling and grilling scenario," notes Mr. Ball. "Over the last few years, tailgating has grown into a family affair with wives and children. But the biggest game changer is the venue: tailgate parties have come home, and left the parking lot and the stadium behind."

According to Ball, more families are cheering on their favorite teams this football season with pre-game tailgate parties in their own backyards. Possibly because of the increased female presence, Mr. Ball observes, tailgating recipes are healthful and more sophisticated, with wholesome vegetables taking the place of fat-laden meats as the star ingredients. Burgers are still on the grill, he notes, but they are part of a more wholesome menu.

Now that tailgating has made itself at home, "The garden and patio are right at the heart of it," says Mr. Ball. "Families create 'outdoor rooms' for the Sunday game festivities, with attractive table settings, potted autumn plants and cut flower arrangements. And, while the partygoers have left the stadium, they haven't left the game, watching the game on outdoor-ready, weatherproof large-screen TVs."

Independent research conducted by Burpee shows families are keenly interested in tailgate recipes that feature fresh, nutritious ingredients. They also view a pre-game garden party in the backyard as more "family-friendly" -- a safer, more personal, and less expensive alternative to traditional parking lot tailgates.

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