Fort Lauderdale Woman Wins "Free Groceries for a Year" at Publix Idaho Potato Commission and Sargento Partner with Supermarket Chain to Award $20,000+ in Groceries

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EAGLE, ID, June 4, 2009 - Publix customers are looking up in this down economy. The grocery giant awarded more than $20,000 in free groceries in its "Win Free Groceries for a Year Sweepstakes" presented by the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) and Sargento. Sandra Browne of Fort Lauderdale, FL, was the lucky grand-prize winner of "Free Groceries for a Year" - a prize valued at $10,400 and worth savoring during these financially straining times.

"It is important to us to work with suppliers who not only deliver quality product, but who are community minded," said Kim Jaeger Miami media and community relations manager for Publix. "Idaho Potatoes and Sargento Cheese are two examples and by partnering with us we gave away a year of free groceries to one lucky customer, a gift that couldn't have come at a better time considering the economy."

Publix partnered with the Idaho Potato Commission and Sargento to reward its valued customers with "free groceries." The sweepstakes was promoted January 8 through March 9 in the produce department of 1,001 Publix Supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. Idaho® potato and Sargento product displays drew in customers with colorful sweepstakes signage, contest registration forms and coupons for Sargento Finishers - not to mention the chance to win "free groceries"!

"This promotion was a huge success for the Idaho Potato Commission on every level," said Seth Pemsler, VP Retail/International, Idaho Potato Commission. "We received a record number of entries in comparison to similar sweepstakes we've sponsored in the past. Publix went above and beyond promoting this program to its customers and most importantly for us, Idaho potato sales during the promotion period were up 17%."

"This promotion was a great way to direct Publix shoppers' attention to new Sargento Potato Finishers," said Troy Davis, senior marketing manager at Sargento. "This product line is the first foray for Sargento into the produce department, so partnering with the IPC made sense to both encourage trial and to reinforce that this product line is not in the dairy case with other Sargento cheeses."

More than 30,000 customers registered online at or via mail for a chance to win more than 100 prizes including:

  • One Grand Prize: "Free Groceries for a Year" - $10,400 in Publix Gift Cards ($200 per week for 52 weeks)

  • Four First Prizes: $1,000 in Publix Gift Cards

  • One Hundred Second Prizes: $100 in Publix Gift Cards

"I have been a loyal Publix shopper for years and still cannot believe I won free groceries for one year," said Sandra Browne. "This money will certainly help out during these tough financial times. I have a family member who is having difficulties making ends meet and now I'll be able to help him feed his family."

Publix is privately owned and operated by its 141,000 employees. Currently Publix has 1,004 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. The company has been named one of FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" for 12 consecutive years. In addition, Publix's dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized as tops in the grocery business, most recently by an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. For more information, visit the company's Web site,

The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research. The Commission also protects the use of the "Idaho® Potato" and "Grown in Idaho®" seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.

Sargento Foods Inc. has demonstrated its passion for cheese and cheese-based solutions throughout its history. Founded in 1953 in Plymouth, Sargento is a leading manufacturer, packager and marketer of natural shredded, sliced and snack cheeses, cheese appetizers, ingredients and sauces. Sargento is owned and operated by the Gentine family, and has net sales of $900 million.

Contact: Krista Paglisotti, Evans, Hardy+Young, 805.963.5841 x212
Copyright ® 1997-2009 Idaho Potato Commission. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.