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$200,000+ Goes to Winning Entries from More
than 5,000 Stores

EAGLE, IDAHO (May 17, 2016) - With top dollars at stake - more than $200,000 in cash and prizes - 5,000-plus retailers mined their creativity this year for the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) 2016 retail display competition. Now in its 25th year, the contest upped its game with double the number of award levels and partner products as Country Crock® Original Buttery Spread joined HORMEL® Real Bacon Bits to help spur even more spud sales during the nine-week competition period.
“It’s always inspiring to see how much these wonderful Idaho® potato displays help our retailers boost sales from mid-January through mid-March, which has tended to be a slower time for potatoes,” said Jamie Bowen, IPC marketing manager. “This year we were especially impressed by the many great entries from military commissaries in their separate contest - they really outdid themselves. It’s such a fun contest for everyone - stores and shoppers alike.”
Corrine Hjelmen, brand manager for bacon toppings at Hormel Foods Corp., agreed that the contest is a win-win for retailers. “Every year we continue to build this program and make it a stronger presence with our retail partners,” she said. “[The display contest] is a great way to cross-merchandise and increase their sales on both their potatoes and their bacon toppings.”
“Idaho® potatoes continues to be a perfect pair and partner for Country Crock®, creating simple homemade dishes everyone loves,” agreed Bettina Scott, Country Crock® brand building manager for Unilever.

Winning first place among stores with 10+ registers, Raleys #108 in Reno, Nevada, drove customers straight to the produce aisle with two real-life tractors flanking its display of a super-sized Idaho® russet potato perched on the back of a red truck. “We brought the tractors in through the front door [of the store],” said produce manager Mike Dyer, a 33-year veteran at Raleys. “It was really tight, but we got them in! And our customers thought it was awesome.”

Mike Dyer, produce manager, Raleys #108, Reno, Nevada: “The owner of the tractors and I sat in the tractors just for the photo - we usually had bears there!”

At Kroger J-915 in Elkhart, Indiana, shoppers fell in love with the winning entry in the 6-9 registers category: a Spuddy Buddy cutout riding in a Big Idaho® Potato Truck cutout with a giant red heart atop his head, professing his undying affection for the tubers. For stores with 1-5 registers, Grocery Depot in Williston, Florida, took home first prize by building a bridge between Idaho® potatoes and shoppers in its display of eight Mylar Spuddy Buddies under and over the entrance to “Idaho World.”

Julie Bolton, lead produce manager, Kroger J-915, Elkhart, Indiana: “We had 5-pound [bags] on sale [during the display], so that really drew customers to it.”

Cristian Rodriguez, produce manager, Grocery Depot, Williston, Florida: “The display was something very cool to do, and I got a lot of good comments from customers.”

Within each store category, entrants competed for these prizes:

  • 1st place   -  $2,000
  • 2nd place  -  $1,500
  • 3rd place   -  $1,000
  • 4th place   -  $800
  • 5th place   -  $700
  • 6th place   -  $600
  • 7th place   -  $500
  • 8th place   -  $400
  • 9th place   -  $300
  • 10th place -  $200
  • Honorable Mention - $100 (100 selected from remaining entries)

In addition, the Category Manager Match Program awarded equivalent cash prizes to category managers at stores that qualified for 1st through 10th place prizes. Everyone who entered received a free Hamilton Beach Personal Cup one-cup pod brewer, compatible with coffee grounds, K-Cups and soft pods.
Retailers were required to create a display for their produce department featuring Idaho® potatoes, HORMEL® Real Bacon Bits and Country Crock® Original buttery spread, along with themed point-of-sale material from the IPC, Hormel and Country Crock®. The display had to be up in the store’s produce section for at least one week between January 11 and March 11, 2016.
In their own IPC display contest from March 21 to April 3, 2016, military commissaries competed in two categories by store size for the top category prize of a trophy and a trip to the Produce Marketing Association’s 2016 annual convention in Orlando, Florida. Second-place winners in each category earned $500 in commissary gift cards and a plaque, and third-place winners received $250 in commissary gift cards and a plaque. Plus, each military commissary entrant was awarded a Swiss Army backpack.

Maribel Cruz, produce manager, NAS North Island Commissary, San Diego, California: “We’re saving the [contest prize] money for Thanksgiving, when we’ll use it to order a bin of 10-pounders and give them to the single sailors.”

Paul Tuason, produce manager, San Diego Naval Base Commissary, San Diego, California: “Our customers loved the Western theme, and we saw higher sales of almost 8 percent.”

For photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners, visit
1st Place Retail Display Winners
1-5 cash registers
Cristian Rodriguez
Grocery Depot
Williston, Florida
6-9 cash registers
Julie Bolton
Kroger J-915
Elkhart, Indiana
10+ cash registers
Mike Dyer
Raleys #108
Reno, Nevada
1st place Military Display Winners
Category 1: K-1, K-2
Maribel Cruz
NAS North Island Commissary
San Diego, California
Category 2: K-3, K-4, K-5
Paul Tuason
San Diego Naval Base Commissary
San Diego, California