EAGLE, ID – Retailers saw firsthand the benefits of secondary displays as they competed for more than $150,000 in cash and prizes in the Idaho Potato Commission’s 2020 Idaho® Potato Lover’s Display Contest.
IPC marketing manager Jamie Bowen says the commission’s research shows that potato sales increase 22 percent with secondary displays of Idaho® potatoes, without cannibalizing other potato sales. “Promoting Idaho® potatoes alongside our partner products from Hormel® and Fresh Gourmet® makes for an even stronger presentation to produce shoppers,” says Bowen. “Retailers really went all out this year to grab their customers’ attention and show them how versatile potatoes can be for home cooking.”
To sizzle up their displays for the 29th annual contest, retailers highlighted both Hormel® Real Bacon Toppings and Fresh Gourmet® Cheese Crisps and Crispy Veggies as perfect complements to Idaho spuds.
“Displays featuring Hormel® Real Bacon Toppings and Idaho® potatoes inspire consumers to elevate their favorite Idaho® potato recipes with the convenient and delicious addition of Hormel® Real Bacon Toppings,” says Meghan Baumann, brand manager, Hormel® Real Bacon Toppings. “Ultimately, the display contest drives purchase for our retail partners and provides meal solutions for consumers. Congratulations to all of the contest winners!”
“The creativity shown by all entrants, pairing our Fresh Gourmet® Cheese Crisps and Crispy Veggies with Idaho® potatoes, has been truly exciting to see,” says Ting Sheng, shopper marketing & promotions manager, Fresh Gourmet Co. “Kudos to all the winners for their fantastic displays and to Idaho® potatoes for another successful program.”
In Highland, Indiana, Strack & Van Til produce manager Anthony Flores faced up to the challenge of his first-ever Idaho® potato display contest and took home the top prize for the 10+ registers category. “Spud characters styled after Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head welcomed shoppers to a colorful display that generated lots of love,” says Flores.
“The responses were amazing!” he says. “Customers were taking pictures of the display, and we got nonstop positive comments. We left the display up for six weeks, and the customers were disappointed when we took it down. It took a lot of team effort and time to make the display, but it was well worth it.”
Anthony Flores, produce manager, Strack & Van Til, Highland, Indiana: “This will be an every year tradition from now on, and the produce team is already coming up with ideas for next year’s display.”
“Valentine’s Day sentiments inspired the appealing display of happy-go-lucky Spuddy Buddy characters at Broulim’s in Shelley, Idaho,” says produce manager Simeon Siders. “The display won first place among stores with 6-9 registers, and it also helped boost the store’s produce sales 11 percent while it was up,” according to Siders.
“We were tying it into Valentine’s Day and wanted to relay the love of potatoes with the love of our valentines,” says Siders, who did the lettering on the large overhead banner.
Simeon Siders, produce manager, Broulim’s, Shelley, Idaho: “Shoppers thought it was cute and thoughtful design going into the Valentine’s holiday.”
Produce manager Danny Kim created the 1st place winner in the 1-5 register category by building up rather than out. “This store doesn’t have the room to make a big display on the floor,” says Kim, who works at Pick-Rite Thriftway in Montesano, Washington. “That’s why I did the display on top, with a tractor wagon as a potato cart and an airplane advertising in the ‘sky.’”
Kim says his customers knew the display was entered in the IPC contest, and they regularly asked him, “Did you win yet?” So he was happy to share the good news when he got the winning call. “I was screaming when I won!” he laughs.
Danny Kim, produce manager, Pick-Rite Thriftway, Montesano, Washington: “Our potato sales were up 8 percent during the display.”
Each contest entrant also was included in a random sweepstakes drawing for an $8,800 trip for two to Rome or the cash equivalent. This year’s winner was Jazlin Sprague, formerly a produce manager of Fareway Meat & Grocery in Adel, Iowa. “I was so excited—I’ve never won anything before!” says Sprague, who had entered the retail display contest in 2019 and 2018. The store’s category manager also will receive a Rome trip for two or the cash equivalent, as part of the Category Manager Match Program.
Retailers competed with other same-size stores in one of three categories: 1-5 cash registers, 6-9 cash registers, or 10-plus cash registers. Within each store category, entrants could win these prizes:
• 1st place – $1,500
• 2nd place — $1,000
• 3rd place — $750
• 4th place — $500
• 5th place — $250
• Honorable Mention — $100 (100 selected from remaining entries)
In addition, the Category Manager Match Program provided equivalent prizes to category managers for stores that qualified for a 1st through 5th place prize and a sweepstakes prize. Everyone who entered the contest received a free Gourmia ExpressPot with 14 cooking modes plus automatic pressure control and locking.
In-store displays were required to incorporate fresh Idaho® potatoes (bag, bulk or both) with a clear label showing the Idaho name and the “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a clearly marked Idaho® dehydrated potato product, any variety of Hormel® Real Bacon Toppings and any variety of Fresh Gourmet® company products. The displays also needed to use IPC 2020 special themed
point-of-sale materials: two double-sided Idaho® Potato Lover’s Display Contest logo display signs, one large and two small double-sided signs showing an appetizing photo and two inflatable Mylar™ IPC-branded balloons. Displays were required to be in the produce section for at least one week between Feb. 1 and March 31, 2020.
For photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners, visit www.IdahoPotato.com/Retail.
IPC also sponsored a contest for military commissary displays from Feb. 17 to March 1, 2020. Prizes were awarded by sales band group, with two winners per group. Each winner received a trophy and $300 (first-place winners) or $150 (second-place winners) in commissary gift cards.
For photos of the winning military commissary entries, please contact Jamie Bowen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1st Place Retail Display Winners
1-5 cash registers
6-9 cash registers
10+ cash registers
Strack & Van Til
1st Place Military Display Winners
Military Sales Bands 1 – 2
Military Sales Bands 3 – 4
Military Sales Band 5
Military Sales Bands 6 – 7
Military Sales Bands 8 – 9
Kaneohe Bay MCBH
Military Sales Bands 10 – 14
About The Idaho Potato Commission
Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered certification mark that assures consumers are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiates them from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit www.idahopotato.com.