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26th Annual Contest Makes Waves with Cash and Travel Prizes

EAGLE, ID (May 15, 2017) An all-expenses-paid vacation for two on Celebrity Cruises® was awarded to each of the top six winners in the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) 2017 retail display contest, which also featured partner product HORMEL® Real Bacon Bits.

“All of the winners were really excited to hear that they were going on a cruise with an ocean-view stateroom!” said IPC marketing manager, Jamie Bowen. “They definitely deserve it, because we had so many entries this year with wonderful graphics, in addition to the truly creative themes that retailers came up with. And we love to hear about how these fun Idaho® potato displays are a big attraction with their customers, leading to higher sales.”

Nearly 5,000 retailers took part in the nine-week competition from mid-January to mid-March. KVAT Food Stores 694 in Knoxville, Tennessee, which took first place among stores with 10+ registers, loaded up its award-winning display with original artwork from produce manager David Scarlett that included a hanging “loaded” baked potato illustration, Spuddy Buddy and HORMEL® Real Bacon Bits cutouts, and a colorful hand-lettered sign proclaiming, “Wait till you get a load of us!”

“I came up with the idea from Jack Nicholson’s quote as The Joker [in the 1989 movie ‘Batman’]: ‘Wait till they get a load of me!’” explained Scarlett. “The display definitely created a lot of excitement, as well as significant growth in sales for our Idaho® potatoes.”

David Scarlett, produce manager, KVAT Food Stores 694, Knoxville, Tennessee: “The display created a lot of positive comments from our customers.”

Kroger J-915 in Elkhart, Indiana, paid homage to the IPC’s beloved Big Idaho® Potato Truck with its winning entry in the 6-9 registers category, featuring spuds displayed in a handmade re-creation of the traveling truck, complete with a beaming Spuddy Buddy cutout on top. A “Ghostbusters” movie-themed display scared up more customers for Community Market #590 in Greenfield, Ohio, which spirited away with first prize in the 1-5 registers competition.

Julie Bolton, lead produce, Kroger J-915, Elkhart, Indiana: “We had customers
taking pictures of the display all the time.”

William Roller, produce clerk, Community Market #590, Greenfield, Ohio:
“The nicer [our display] looks, the more our guests purchase."

Retailers competed with other same-size stores in one of three categories: 1-5 cash registers, 6-9 cash registers, or 10+ cash registers. Within each store category, entrants competed for these prizes:

  • 1st place – All-expenses-paid Caribbean cruise for two
  • 2nd place -- $1,000
  • 3rd place -- $750
  • 4th place -- $500
  • 5th place -- $250
  • Honorable Mention -- $100 (100 selected from remaining entries)

In addition, the Category Manager Match Program awarded equivalent prizes to corporate category managers for stores that qualified for 1st through 5th place prizes, and everyone who entered the contest received a free Marley Chant Mini Portable Bluetooth audio speaker system.

Each in-store display was required to incorporate clearly marked fresh Idaho® potatoes (bag, bulk or both), an Idaho® dehydrated potato product and HORMEL® Real Bacon Bits, plus IPC point-of-sale materials including Potato Lover’s Month logo display signs and inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddy balloons. Retailers had to showcase the display in their store’s produce section for at least one week between Jan. 16 and March 17, 2017.

For photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners, visit www.IdahoPotato.com/Retail.

1st Place Retail Display Winners

1-5 cash registers
William Roller
Community Market #590
Greenfield, Ohio

6-9 cash registers
Julie Bolton
Kroger J-915
Elkhart, Indiana

10+ cash registers
David Scarlett
KVAT Food Stores 694
Knoxville, Tennessee



About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho™” seal, a federally registered certification mark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho's growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance, that differentiates Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.