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Idaho Potato Lover’s Display Contest winners second to none

Retailers saw firsthand the benefits of secondary displays as they competed for more than $150,000 in cash and prizes in the Idaho Potato Commission’s 2020 Idaho Potato Lover’s Display Contest.

IPC Marketing Manager Jamie Bowen said the commission’s research shows that potato sales increase 22 percent with secondary displays of Idaho potatoes, without cannibalizing other potato sales. “Promoting Idaho potatoes alongside our partner products from Hormel and Fresh Gourmet makes for an even stronger presentation to produce shoppers,” said Bowen. “Retailers really went all out this year to grab their customers’ attention and show them how versatile potatoes can be for home cooking.”

To sizzle up their displays for the 29th annual contest, retailers highlighted both Hormel Real Bacon Toppings and Fresh Gourmet Cheese Crisps and Crispy Veggies as perfect complements to Idaho spuds.

Idaho Potato“Displays featuring Hormel Real Bacon Toppings and Idaho® potatoes inspire consumers to elevate their favorite Idaho potato recipes with the convenient and delicious addition of Hormel Real Bacon Toppings,” said Meghan Baumann, brand manager of Hormel Real Bacon Toppings. “Ultimately, the display contest drives purchase for our retail partners and provides meal solutions for consumers. Congratulations to all of the contest winners!” A winning display from Strack & Van Til in Highland, IN.

“The creativity shown by all entrants, pairing our Fresh Gourmet Cheese Crisps and Crispy Veggies with Idaho potatoes, has been truly exciting to see,” said Ting Sheng, shopper marketing and promotions manager of Fresh Gourmet Co. “Kudos to all the winners for their fantastic displays and to Idaho potatoes for another successful program.”

In Highland, IN, Strack & Van Til Produce Manager Anthony Flores faced up to the challenge of his first-ever Idaho potato display contest and took home the top prize for the 10-plus registers category. “Spud characters styled after Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head welcomed shoppers to a colorful display that generated lots of love,” said Flores.

 

 “The responses were amazing,” he said. “Customers were taking pictures of the display, and we got nonstop positive comments. We left the display up for six weeks, and the customers were disappointed when we took it down. It took a lot of team effort and time to make the display, but it was well worth it.”

“Valentine’s Day sentiments inspired the appealing display of happy-go-lucky Spuddy Buddy characters at Broulim’s in Shelley, ID,” said Produce Manager Simeon Siders. “The display won first place among stores with 6-9 registers, and it also helped boost the store’s produce sales 11 percent while it was up.”

“We were tying it into Valentine’s Day and wanted to relay the love of potatoes with the love of our valentines,” said Siders.

Produce manager Danny Kim created the first place winner in the one to five register category by building up rather than out. “This store doesn’t have the room to make a big display on the floor,” said Kim, who works at Pick-Rite Thriftway in Montesano, WA. “That’s why I did the display on top, with a tractor wagon as a potato cart and an airplane advertising in the ‘sky.’”

Kim said his customers knew the display was entered in the IPC contest, and they regularly asked him, “Did you win yet?” So he was happy to share the good news when he got the winning call. “I was screaming when I won!” he said.

Each contest entrant also was included in a random sweepstakes drawing for an $8,800 trip for two to Rome or the cash equivalent. This year’s winner was Jazlin Sprague, formerly a produce manager of Fareway Meat & Grocery in Adel, IA. “I was so excited — I’ve never won anything before!” said Sprague, who had entered the retail display contest in 2019 and 2018. The store’s category manager also will receive a Rome trip for two or the cash equivalent, as part of the Category Manager Match Program.

Retailers competed with other same-size stores in one of three categories: one to five cash registers, six to nine cash registers, or 10-plus cash registers. Within each store category, entrants could win 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)

Idaho PotatoA winning display from Broulim's in Shelley, ID.In addition, the Category Manager Match Program provided equivalent prizes to category managers for stores that qualified for a first through fifth place prize and a sweepstakes prize. Everyone who entered the contest received a free Gourmia ExpressPot with 14 cooking modes plus automatic pressure control and locking.

In-store displays were required to incorporate fresh Idaho potatoes (bag, bulk or both) with a clear label showing the Idaho name and the “Grown in Idaho” seal, a clearly marked Idaho dehydrated potato product, any variety of Hormel Real Bacon Toppings and any variety of Fresh Gourmet company products. The displays also needed to use IPC 2020 special themed point-of-sale materials: two double-sided Idaho Potato Lover’s Display Contest logo display signs, one large and two small double-sided signs showing an appetizing photo and two inflatable Mylar IPC-branded balloons. Displays were required to be in the produce section for at least one week between Feb. 1 and March 31, 2020.

IPC also sponsored a contest for military commissary displays from Feb. 17 to March 1, 2020. Prizes were awarded by sales band group, with two winners per group. Each winner received a trophy and $300 (first-place winners) or $150 (second-place winners) in commissary gift cards.

1st Place Retail Display Winners

  • One to five cash registers: Danny Kim, Pick-Rite Thriftway, Montesano
  • Six to nine cash registers: Simeon Siders, Broulim’s, Shelley, ID
  • 10-plus cash registers: Anthony Flores, Strack & Van Til, Highland

1st Place Military Display Winners

  • Military Sales Bands 1 - 2: Vance AFB
  • Military Sales Bands 3 - 4: Cannon AFB
  • Military Sales Band 5: Smokey Point
  • Military Sales Bands 6 - 7: Offutt AFB
  • Military Sales Bands 8 - 9: Kaneohe Bay MCBH
  • Military Sales Bands 10 - 14: Hickman AFB
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