Consumers weren’t the only ones professing their love for Idaho spuds during the annual Potato Lover’s Month retail celebration in February. Supermarket chains and independent retailers alike submitted 4,049 entries in the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) 2013 retail display contest – the highest total ever in the competition’s 22 years and more than double the average number of entries over the past eight years.
“We welcomed several major new retailers who participated in the contest for the first time this year, giving them a chance to show off the phenomenal creativity of their produce managers,” says Seth Pemsler, vice president of retail/international, IPC. “In addition, this year’s high-quality crop of Idaho potatoes was widely available to retail markets. We also tapped into the consumer craze for all things bacon by adding HORMEL Real Bacon Bits as a cross-merchandising partner in the displays.”
“We were excited and honored to partner with one of the most well-known brands in the produce department,” says Tony Horvath, Produce Manager, Hormel Foods. “Idaho potatoes with Hormel Bacon Toppings are a natural meal solution that resonates with consumers.”
Potato passion was the theme of more than one winning display in the 2013 contest, which awarded more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including a Swiss Army backpack with padded computer pockets for everyone who entered. Here are the first place winners in their categories.
1-5 cash registers
South Pittsburg, Tennessee
6-9 cash registers
Marsh Supermarket on West 86th Street
10+ cash registers
Wesley Chapel, Florida
“Customer-pleasing displays like these do more than drive Idaho potato sales,” says Jamie Bowen, retail marketing manager. “Many produce managers tell us that the displays help boost sales for their entire produce department during what can be a slow month. And retailers have a chance to win substantial cash prizes, including a matching cash prize for the store’s category manager.”
The IPC also awarded 100 Honorable Mention Prizes of $100 to displays chosen from the remaining entries.
The Military contest was broken down into two categories (k1, k2) and (k3, k4, k5) and Military commissaries competed in their own IPC display contest for the top prize of a trophy and a trip to the Produce Marketing Association’s 2013 annual convention in New Orleans.
Category 1 (k1, k2)
Leon Thomas Jr.
U.S. Air Force Academy
USAF Academy, Colorado
Category 2 (k3, k4, k5)
Sheppard AFB Commissary
Sheppard AFB, Texas
Second place winners for each category were awarded $500 in customer gift certificates/gift cards and a plaque, while and third place winners received $250 in customer gift certificates/gift cards and a plaque.
For photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners, visit retail.idahopotato.com/