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    IPC Display Contest Winner Touts 'Potato Power'

    Commodity display competition draws 2,300-plus entries in 21st year

    Marysville, Ohio-based Community Market's idea to showcase Idaho’s famous spuds as a personal power source claimed the top prize among stores with 1-5 cash registers in the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) 2012 retail display contest, which awarded more than $150,000 in cash and prizes.

    Community Market's winning entry, submitted by Ann Schurtz, earned $1,500 for its “Fuel Up with the World Famous Idaho Potatoes” display that featured a giant potato truck cutout getting fueled up by Mrs. Dash and Molly McButter “gas pumps.”

    The IPC contest’s other first place winners also got right to the heart of the matter: Both Sweetbay Supermarket in Spring Hill, Fla. (6-9 cash registers) and Publix at Sabal Palm Plaza in Fort Pierce, Fla. (10+ registers) spotlighted Idaho potatoes’ role in heart health for their winning retail displays.

    The IPC’s 21st annual Potato Lover’s Month Retail Display Contest, the largest of its kind, attracted more than 2,300 entries from supermarket chains and independent grocers, according to Seth Pemsler, VP, retail/international, IPC.

    “It’s a win-win situation for retailers who enter the contest,” explained Pemsler. “During what is traditionally a slow month, they can give Idaho potato sales a big boost with a creative, attention-getting retail display. And retailers have a chance to win substantial cash prizes, including a matching cash prize for the store’s category manager.”

    Entrants within each store category competed for these prizes:

    1st place -- $1,500
    2nd place -- $1,000
    3rd place -- $750
    4th place -- $500
    5th place -- $250

    In addition, 100 honorable mention prizes of $100 were awarded to displays selected from the remaining entries, all of which received a portable iPod docking station.

    The IPC also sponsored a similar competition for military commissaries, awarding trips to the Produce Marketing Association’s annual convention in Anaheim, Calif., to the first place winners from the East and West regions. Second place winners received $500 in customer gift certificates/cards, and third place winners took home $250 in customer gift certificates/cards.

    “The Potato Lover’s Month display contest has become very popular with the commissaries, and most of them across the country now participate,” says Pemsler.

    Retailers and military commissaries entered the contests by designing a produce department display that included fresh Idaho potatoes, an Idaho® dehydrated potato product, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends, and Molly McButter, and putting it up in the store’s produce section for at least one week between Jan. 30 and March 2, 2012.

    1st Place Retail Display Winners

    1-5 cash registers
    Ann Schurtz
    Community Market
    Marysville, Ohio

    6-9 cash registers
    Ronnie Roddenberry
    Sweetbay Supermarket #1865
    Spring Hill, Fla.

    10+ cash registers
    Leo De Leon
    Publix Super Market #567
    Fort Pierce, Fla.

    1st place Military Display Winners:

    East Region
    Doug Meisenbach
    Fort Bragg South Commissary
    Fort Bragg, N.C.

    West Region
    Edmund Keifer
    Kaneohe Commissary
    MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

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