Hitting the Heights: Record Number of Entrants Compete for Cash and Prizes in 2018 Idaho® Potato Lover's Month Display Contest

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Sky High Sun Valley Resort Vacation Awarded to Sweepstakes Winner

EAGLE, ID, May 15, 2018 – A grand total of 5,266 retail displays nationwide flew the flag for Idaho® potatoes in this year’s Potato Lover’s Month Display Contest—the most entrants ever in the competition’s 27-year history.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about all the enthusiasm for the Idaho potato brand,” says IPC marketing manager Jamie Bowen. “Retailers tell us they have a great time creating the displays, and shoppers love them. We also received a lot of really good comments this year about our free prize for everyone who entered, the Ninja® Fit single-serve blender.”

John “Rich” Rosser, assistant manager for produce at Raley’s in Loomis, California, chalked up a 1st place win for his store in the 10+ registers category. Rosser did all of his own chalk art for the display, which featured a ski-jumping spud in Sun Valley, Idaho, in honor of the sweepstakes prize destination.

“I do all the drawings—I like to get creative,” says Rosser. “People migrate to [displays] like this. When we put it center stage, sales take off.”

John “Rich” Rosser, assistant manager for produce, Raley’s, Loomis, California: “We had a really good response to the display—lots of people taking pictures with their kids.”

For the 6-9 registers category, Kroger J-915 in Elkhart, Indiana, won 1st place for its loving tribute to Idaho potatoes, topped by a giant heart framing a handsome tater couple clasping partner products HORMEL® Bacon Toppings and HORMEL® Chili. The state of Idaho was the center attraction in the Nebo Market display in Nephi, Utah, which took 1st prize among stores with 1-5 registers. Illustrated Idaho fun facts, along with a carved-foam spud family riding in an old wooden wagon, served as backdrop for a wide variety of Idaho potato products.

Julie Bolton, produce clerk, Kroger J-915, Elkhart, Indiana: “Bag and bulk potato sales were up significantly, and the box dry packages, Hormel bacon bits and the Hormel chili did very, very well.”

Kenneth Warren Daniels, produce manager, Nebo Market, Nephi, Utah: “The display was really a team effort. All of the different departments came up with different ideas.”

For the first time, this year’s retail display contest also included a random sweepstakes drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Sun Valley, Idaho, which went to Bob Gagnon, manager of Ahart’s Market in Bath, Pennsylvania. Thanks to the Category Manager Match Program, the store’s category manager will also be heading to the spectacular all-season resort.

“I am always amazed at the creativeness I see in the displays with this program,” says Corrine Hjelmen, Hormel Bacon Toppings brand manager. “This year was no exception—the entrants did a fantastic job of coming up with new ideas, larger displays and very unique themes to make this program a success. Potatoes, bacon and chili create a perfect combination of deliciousness!”

Retailers vied with other same-size stores in one of three categories: 1-5 cash registers, 6-9 cash registers, or 10+ cash registers. Within each store category, entrants competed for 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 awarded equivalent prizes to corporate category managers for stores that qualified for 1st through 5th place prizes, and everyone who entered the contest received a free Ninja® Fit single-serve blender.

Each in-store display was required to incorporate clearly marked fresh Idaho potatoes (bag, bulk or both), an Idaho dehydrated potato product and HORMEL® Real Bacon Toppings and HORMEL® Chili. The displays also needed to feature IPC point-of-sale materials including double-sided Potato Lover’s Month logo display signs, one large and two small double-sided signs with appetizing photos, and two inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddy balloons. Retailers had to showcase the display in their store’s produce section for at least one week from January 15 through March 16, 2018.

Click here for photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners. 

1st Place Retail Display Winners

1-5 cash registers
Kenneth Warren Daniels
Nebo Market
Nephi, Utah

6-9 cash registers
Julie Bolton
Kroger J-915
Elkhart, Indiana

10+ cash registers
John “Rich” Rosser
Loomis, California


About The Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the 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, which differentiates them from potatoes grown in other states.