Responding to rapidly increasing trends for home grilling, Farming Technology, Inc. / MountainKing is promoting a potato grilling concept to retail grocery partners. Specially marked packages of new crop Butter Golds, Reds, Russets and 4 ct. Steakhouse Bakers include an instructional tag called “8 Minute Grilling.” The tag’s objective is to educate consumers how to enjoy flavorful baked potatoes on the grill by preconditioning them in the microwave.
Andreas Trettin, marketing director, reports that consumers have long enjoyed the crispy, robust flavor of grilled baked potatoes but objected to the long cooking time on the grill. By simply “softening” up the potato in the microwave the potato can be prepared in the same amount of time that is needed to grill steaks, fish, chops or chicken on the grill.
The program was launched in 2009 and has become an industry favorite each summer, starting with Memorial Day promotions and culminating with Labor Day / Back To School promotions. Participating grocery partners have reported phenomenal results with increased sales, improved margins and total category lift. Trettin says that “stores get motivated” to sell product when they get the tools that consumers are looking for to increase sales.
Trettin acknowledges that summer produce selling is typically known as the peak time to promote fruits, melons, and berries – however consumer demand for fresh potatoes is fairly steady even during the warm weather months. “They remain an excellent value; summer also offers peak appearance and quality in new crop potatoes and basket sales nearly triple when potatoes are part of the shopping trip,” he says. “This program helps our retail partners sell more produce – and helps our valued consumers to beat the kitchen heat and enjoy potatoes from the grill.”
The comprehensive seasonal program includes the bag tags, point of sale signage and pre-print high graphic display bins that actually look like grills. Retail partners are encouraged to use these materials to build supplemental displays, promote extended ad features and inspire weekend excitement.
8 Minute Grilling