EAGLE, Idaho, May 1, 2013 – 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, 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. Marsh Supermarket on West 86th Street in Indianapolis took top honors among stores with 6-9 cash registers for its “Fall in Love with Idaho Potatoes” display, complete with a floor-to-ceiling castle guarded by inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddies.
Kirkpatrick's Foodland in South Pittsburg, Tenn., captured first place in the 1-5 registers category for its display proclaiming that America’s new “Idol” is Idaho® potatoes. And Sweetbay Supermarket in Wesley Chapel, Fla., the first place winner for stores with 10+ registers, paid homage to consumers’ love affair with the Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck’s cross-country tour last summer by re-creating the super spud-mobile for its display—at a size considerably less than life-size, of course.
“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.”
Within each store category, entrants were eligible to win these prizes:
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. 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.
To enter the contests, retailers and military commissaries had to create a display for their produce department featuring Idaho® potatoes and HORMEL® Real Bacon Bits, plus special-themed point-of-sale material from the IPC and Hormel. The display was required to be up in the store’s produce section for at least one week between Jan. 28 and March 1, 2013.
For photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners, visit http://retail.idahopotato.com/plm_2013.
1st Place Retail Display Winners
1-5 cash registers
South Pittsburg, Tennessee
6-9 cash registers
Marsh Supermarket on West 86th Street
10+ cash registers
Wesley Chapel, Florida
1st Place Military Display Winners
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
About the Idaho Potato Commission
Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho's ideal growing conditions, including rich, volcanic soil, climate and irrigation, differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.
About Hormel Foods
Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring branded, value-added products to the global marketplace. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index, S&P Dividend Aristocrats for 2012, Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes, Global 1000 Sustainable Performance Leaders and was again named one of "The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the fifth year in a row. Hormel Foods debuted on the G.I. Jobs magazine list of America’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers in 2012. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit http://www.hormelfoods.com.