Idaho Potato Commission Generated More Than 4 Billion Media Impressions in Fiscal Year 2010-2011

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Previous Year Record Shattered!

EAGLE, ID, September 13, 2011 – The Idaho® potato is certainly living up to its “Famous Potato” slogan. During the action-packed 2010-2011 fiscal year the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) generated a record number of media impressions -- almost 4.1 billion to be exact -- for America’s favorite potato. This is more than double the number of media impressions achieved during the previous year.

“The IPC has been working harder and smarter than ever before to remind consumers to look for the famous ‘Grown in Idaho®’ seal every time they purchase potatoes, and close to 4.1 billion media impressions prove it,” said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. “We’ve expanded our core consumer, retail and foodservice public relations programs to include more exciting and engaging sponsorships, contests and promotions that all drive shoppers to our website and Facebook page where they can learn more about the famous Idaho® potato.”

FY 2010-2011 HIGHLIGHTS

College Football Sponsorships
The IPC flanked last year with headline news regarding its support of college football. In September 2010, the IPC announced a six-year long sponsorship of the Boise State University Broncos and the University of Idaho Vandals. The sponsorship includes radio and television advertising, marquee games for both teams, and prominent signage throughout the season for both stadiums.

Taking their football support to a new level, the IPC announced in August their title sponsorship of the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl. Formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl, the Boise-based bowl game is the country’s longest-running outdoor cold-weather bowl, and will be played December 17 at Bronco stadium and televised on ESPN.

The new name, which the IPC secured for the next six years, has already ignited a national media frenzy and was highlighted from coast to coast in the nation’s top outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and NBC Sports.

American Heart Association
In May, the IPC announced that the American Heart Association (AHA) certified fresh Idaho® potatoes as a heart-healthy food. This designation means that Idaho® potatoes meet the AHA’s criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol and allows them to bear the widely-respected heart-check mark.

The IPC shared the news through a month-long Facebook promotion and sent releases to more than 1,000 media outlets, dietitians and food bloggers. From popular retail industry publications like The Produce News to consumer outlets like USA Today and CNBC.com, the certification confirmed the nutritional prowess of Idaho® potatoes. This message will continue to spread as Wal-Mart stores across the country begin to display the heart-check mark on bags of Idaho® potatoes this month.

Celebrity Spokespeople
The IPC also received continued support from a crew of celebrity spokespeople. Denise Austin, long-standing IPC spokesperson and nationally renowned fitness guru, touted the nutritional benefits of Idaho® potatoes in a national television ad campaign and on news stations across the country during a satellite media tour in February.

Culinary television personality Mr. Food also featured Idaho potatoes in several of his vignettes including a special “Salute the Troops” segment. Popular food blogger Average Betty propelled potatoes into the blogosphere with a series of instructional and entertaining YouTube videos demonstrating how to prepare spud-centered recipes. And the Dawn Wells Potato Peeling Video has become a YouTube sensation, surpassing 11 million views this year.

Idaho® potatoes popped up in an assortment of television programs as well including, Rachael Ray, Barefoot Contessa, Man v. Food, and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Foodservice and Retail Initiatives
Idaho potato news blanketed the trades throughout the year. From the Potato Lover’s Month Retail Display contest that featured the “World’s Largest Idaho® Potato Display” to the sponsorship of Rachael Ray’s Burger Bash at the Food Network’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, rarely was there a week without news of the IPC’s many programs.

About the Idaho Potato Commission
The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho-grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research. The Commission also protects the use of the "Idaho® potato" and "Grown in Idaho®" seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho. For more information, visit www.idahopotato.com.

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