Idaho Potato Commission Awards More Than $150,000 in Cash & Prizes to 2009 Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest Winners

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EAGLE, IDAHO, May 1, 2009 - The most anticipated retail promotion of the year, the 2009 Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest, proved to be yet another blockbuster hit for the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) with over 2,150 entries, an 11% increase in participation over 2008.

"Retailers have been telling us for years, 18 years to be exact, that this promotion works - it helps sell potatoes and other produce during February, one of the slowest months for retail produce departments," said Seth Pemsler, Vice President, Retail/International, IPC. "And now that consumers are looking for more ways to stretch their dollars, retailers know that an eye-catching display will remind them of the great value delivered by Idaho potatoes. In addition, what retailer doesn't want to increase sales and possibly win a substantial cash prize for themselves and their store?"

This year, for the first time, the IPC partnered with two healthy potato topping favorites, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends® and Molly McButter® to help retailers create mouth-watering sales-driving product displays. Overall, the contest generated entries from supermarkets of all sizes and from almost every state in the continental US with each store incorporating customized and new point-of-sale materials to drive sales of Idaho® potatoes, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends® and Molly McButter®.

"From the thousands of entries we received, it's obvious the entrants have a great time designing and building their displays," added Pemsler. "It's especially gratifying when the displays include images from our ad campaigns. It ties everything together, giving consumers a more complete picture of all the benefits of Idaho potatoes - healthy, affordable and versatile."

And the Winners Are....
Total prizes awarded to all contest entrants exceeded $150,000 with $22,000 given as cash prizes to the top 115 participants (matching category manager prizes were also awarded):

  • 1st Place winners receive $1,500 each

  • 2nd Place winners receive $1,000 each

  • 3rd Place winners receive $750 each

  • 4th Place winners receive $500 each

  • 5th Place winners receive $250 each

In addition, $100 was awarded to 100 honorable mention winners. To view photographs of all the winning entries, a complete list of winners and how the prizes were awarded, go to

1st Place Display Winners
1-5 Cash Registers
Michael Schrader
Kirkpatricks Foodland
South Pittsburg, TN
6-9 Cash Registers
Dean Eide
Lammers Food Fest
Menomonie, WI
10+ Cash Registers
Fred Sweany
Wooster, OH
2nd Place Display Winners
1-5 Cash Registers
Dianne Nellis
Sureway #88
Henderson, KY
6-9 Cash Registers
Jeff Stewart
Piggly Wiggly
Bonifay, FL
10+ Cash Registers
Chris D. Gutierrez
Raley's Supermarket
Sparks, NV
3rd Place Display Winners
1-5 Cash Registers
Tony Ertle
Edwards Right Price Market
Fort Morgan, CO
6-9 Cash Registers
Ronnie Roddenberry
Sweetbay #1865
Spring Hill, FL
10+ Cash Registers
Timmy Mitchell
Food City #606
Greenville, TN

The Contest
The contest was open to retail supermarket chains and independents only. Displays had to be in place for at least one week during the January 26 - February 27, 2009 contest period, set up in the produce section of the store and include the following:

  • Fresh Idaho® potatoes (bag, bulk or both) that have a clearly discernable label showing the Idaho name and the 'Grown in Idaho®' seal

  • A clearly marked Idaho dehydrated potato product

  • Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends and Molly McButter

Entries were judged and prizes were awarded by the Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest Review Committee based on the following criteria: perceived success in generating incremental sales for those products; creativity of the display; perceived impact on the produce section and the store; how the display incorporated the partner products; and use of Potato Lover's Month signage.

Hungry for more? Check out the Idaho Potato Commission's website to unearth more information about what the IPC is up to. Through the website you may also access the IPC's recipe inventory featuring hundreds of recipes from traditional favorites to innovative creations - each featuring Idaho's famous premium potatoes.

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.