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The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) has revealed details of its 2015 annual Potato Lover’s Month Retail Display Contest. For the first time ever, the competition period has been extended from four weeks to eight weeks to give retailers a greater opportunity to tap into the sales-boosting spud merchandising event.
“Potato Lover’s Month falls during February, but we’ve expanded the retail display time frame from mid-January to mid-March to ensure that everyone will be able to receive their Idaho potato orders during the contest period,” according to IPC Marketing Manager Jamie Bowen. “The contest has continued to explode in popularity, with up to 5,000 retailers entering every year, and that has resulted in tremendous demand for Idaho potato shipments during those weeks. And the earlier start to the contest in January will give retailers an opportunity to tie in with the Super Bowl - a perfect merchandising event for tasty potato snacks.”
In addition to pumping up Idaho potato sales during a traditionally slower time of the year, retailers who enter an original in-store display will have a chance to win more than $150,000 in cash and prizes ($34,000 in cash prizes alone) from the IPC. Everyone who enters the contest will also receive a free Cuisinart Advantage cutlery set of precision-tapered, high-carbon stainless steel blades complete with a solid wood knife block.
Showoff Spuds and Bacon
With the consumer bacon craze still showing no signs of abating, IPC is once again partnering with Hormel Real Bacon Bits to highlight the unbeatable combo of bacon and spuds. Each in-store display should incorporate clearly marked fresh Idaho potatoes (bag, bulk or both), Idaho dehydrated potato products and Hormel Real Bacon Bits, along with point-of-sale materials from IPC and Hormel Foods.
The merchandising materials for the displays include two round double-sided Potato Lover’s Month logo signs, a large and a small double-sided recipe photo sign, and two inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddies. Clip art and recipes are also available from the IPC website.
“We provide all the ingredients for a customer-pleasing merchandising display, and our retailers’ creativity is the finishing touch,” says Bowen. “Every year we see so many different ways that retailers choose to showcase Idaho potatoes, and these displays also help generate higher sales throughout the produce department.”
Retailers will compete with other same-size stores in one of three categories: 1-5 cash registers, 6-9 cash registers, or 10+ cash registers. Entrants within each store category are eligible to win these prizes:
- 1st place — $1,500
- 2nd place — $1,000
- 3rd place — $750
- 4th place — $500
- 5th place — $250
In addition, the Category Manager Match Program will award equivalent cash prizes to category managers at stores that qualify for a first through fifth place prize. One hundred displays selected from the remaining entries will win Honorable Mention Prizes of $100.
Complete contest rules are available at IPC's website.