EAGLE, IDAHO, May 2, 2007 - Retailers love their spuds and from the contest entries received, it's evident that February is, without a question, Potato Lovers Month. The Idaho Potato Commission's (IPC) Retail Display Contest received 2,000 entries this year and awarded more than $150,000 in cash and merchandise prizes to retailers across the country. This year, everyone won! Every qualified entrant received a free MP3 Digital Music player, a $70 value!
February is typically a slow time of year for potato sales and this unique contest, which is in its 16th year, has become increasingly popular among retailers. In just the past three years, an average of over 2,000 stores have participated in this contest annually. For thirteen years prior, the average was barely 600 entries each year.
"The growth and popularity of this contest is unbelievable. The spike in interest is largely due to the fact that the contest is easy to enter, it's fun, everyone wins a prize and it helps boost sales during a slow time of the year," said Seth Pemsler Vice President, Retail/International, IPC. "However, if this contest continues to grow at its current pace, February may no longer be a slow sales month for Idaho Potatoes."
"This year we are particularly impressed with the quality of the entries—the retailers pulled out all stops and created some very eye-catching and unique displays," said Pemsler. "No matter how creative a display is though, it has to sell product and that's not always easy to do. However, this year, retailers accomplished both."
In addition to Idaho® Potatoes appearing front and center in all displays entered, long-time partners (and potato topping favorites) KRAFT® Cheese Whiz, KRAFT® 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese and OSCAR MAYER® Real Bacon Bits were also included prominently in the displays.
And the Winners Are...
More than 150 prizes totaling more than $150,000 were awarded across three general categories: Display Winners (broken down into three categories based on number of cash registers at each store), Military (East coast and West coast) and Ad Overlay Contest. To view photographs of all the winning entries, go to http://www.idahopotato.com/plm_2007/winners/.
Thousands of dollars in prize money were awarded to the top five Display Winners in three different store categories (with matching category manager prizes), plus $100 each to 100 honorable mention winners. The following individuals/stores received first place awards in the Display Contest categories:
|1-5 CASH REGISTERS||6-9 CASH REGISTERS||10+ Cash Registers|
Slone's Signature Mkt
Hy-Vee Food Stores
Windsor Heights, IA
|AD OVERLAY CONTEST|
The contest was open to retail supermarket chains and independents only. Displays had to be in place for at least one week during the January 23 - February 27, 2007 contest period, set up in the produce section of the store and include the following: fresh Idaho Potatoes (bag/bulk or both) that have a clearly discernable label showing the Idaho name and the "Grown in Idaho®" seal; a clearly marked Idaho dehydrated potato product; and two of the following three items, KRAFT® Cheez Whiz, KRAFT® 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese and OSCAR MAYER® Real Bacon Bits.
Entries were judged by the Potato Lovers Month Retail Display Contest review committee on the following criteria: use of Potato Lover's Month signage; creativity of the display; how the display incorporates the partner products; perceived success in generating incremental sales for those products; and, perceived impact on the produce section and the store.
More on This Year's Contest
Overall, the contest generated entries from supermarkets of all sizes and from all corners of the country — each using existing and customized point-of-sale materials and recipes to drive sales of Idaho Potatoes and the participating Kraft products.
Due to the success of this year's promotion, Kraft has already agreed to partner with the IPC in the 17th annual Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest in 2008.