Idaho Potato Commission and H-E-B Grocery Stores Spice Up Produce Sales with a "New Orleans Cooking Adventure" Sweepstakes

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EAGLE, ID, June 24, 2009 - H-E-B Grocery stores teamed up with Idaho® potatoes and Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends® to spice up its produce sales in March. The San Antonio-based grocery chain pumped up produce purchases at its Texas locations with a "New Orleans Cooking Adventure" sweepstakes. The month-long promotion enticed H-E-B customers to add flavor to their fare, specifically Idaho® potatoes, with product discounts, and a chance to win a "New Orleans Cooking Adventure" including a trip to New Orleans and a private cooking lesson from famous chef Paul Prudhomme.

"Product tie-ins top our list of successful ways to power up produce sales," said Seth Pemsler, VP Retail-International, Idaho Potato Commission," and H-E-B gets it. Pairing two premium brands entices purchases from consumers loyal to each product, as well as new consumers looking for innovative, yet affordable, meal options."

The supermarket chain promoted the sweepstakes with free-standing Magic Seasoning Blends® product displays near Idaho® potato bins in all 300+ Texas stores. In addition to providing contest entry forms, H-E-B attracted purchases with special savings on premium Idaho® potatoes and Magic Seasoning Blends®, a new Idaho® potato salad recipe card developed exclusively for H-E-B by Chef Prudhomme, and a cooking demo by the master of Cajun cuisine at two San Antonio locations."H-E-B customers were surprised to see celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme in their local grocery store," said Larry Whiteside, Midwest Promotion Director, Idaho Potato Commission. "Word of Chef Prudhomme's appearance drew quite the crowd in the H-E-B produce department, contributing directly to purchases of Idaho® potatoes and Magic Seasoning Blends®."

Thousands of H-E-B customers submitted entry forms via mail and online at for a chance to win the grand prize "New Orleans Cooking Adventure" (valued at $4,490). In the end, Katy, Texas, resident Rita Acuna came out on top winning:

  • Roundtrip coach air transportation for two people to New Orleans

  • One hotel room for two (2) nights at the Royal Sonesta Hotel

  • Ground transfers between airport and hotel in New Orleans

  • Dinner at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen

  • Private cooking lesson with Chef Paul Prudhomme

About The Idaho Potato Commission
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.